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Review: Wolf - Shadowland

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 54:45
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: April 1, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (15 Votes)

It's been a long time since I have heard a Wolf album, 2006's The Black Flame, to be exact. That's an album I love so naturally, their ninth album, Shadowland, has a high bar to clear and, sadly, it doesn't really come close. Wolf's sound is intact; crunchy, no-frills heavy metal with sneering vocals and a middle-finger-in-the-air attitude. But while on The Black Flame that finger is just inches from your face, on Shadowland, it's just a quick flip from across the room. Songs like "Seek the Silence" and the title track are instantly recognizable as Wolf. The riffs are unforgiving yet melodic and the vocals have a lot of bite. On many of the other tracks, however, the energy is not the same and some of the aggression that defines Wolf in my ears has been siphoned off and replaced with more accessible choruses. Songs like "Dust" and "The Time Machine" had me thinking of a heavier, less intentionally accessible Ghost (I like Ghost, but I want them to stay on Ghost albums). Shadowland isn't a bad album, and I would take it over a lot of other stuff out there, but by the same token if I want some Wolf metal I'm going to grab The Black Flame.

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