|Review: Wolfpack Unleashed - Anthems of Resistance|
|Anthems of Resistance|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: September 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Anthems of Resistance
All you moshers had better book a hospital room early, Austria's Wolfpack Unleashed are on the loose, and they are taking no prisoners. For those who like their thrash melody-orientated with plenty of swirling guitar harmonies, catchy melodies and precision playing, "Anthems of Resistance" is your new bible. Oblivious to the swarming glut of new-age 'thrash' metal acts - i.e. wretched metalcore wannabes - this Austrian quartet obviously owe a lot to the Bay Area explosion, and in fact pride themselves on being the missing link between "Rust in Peace"-era Megadeth and "Master of Puppets"-era Metallica. That would be a pretty apt description, but within the blasting aural assaults, there is plenty of Exodus, a flicker of Anthrax and a gigantic splurge of Testament, so truly, if you find comfort in the sweaty, hedonistic world of thrash, Wolfpack Unleashed will be a worthy addition to your collection. There are, on the other hand, a few complications...
Opting for using a 'clean' vocal approach rather than the favored bark, WPU can seem a little one sided, especially as vocalist/bassist Günther Wirth doesn't own the genre's most listenable voice, being rather snappy and petulant with a hint of that Hetfield snarl that we all know and love. This does make the melodies more apparent, yet more unpleasant, as his voice doesn't always sit comfortably over the melodic backdrop. Musically, this has a lot of melody for a thrash album, with an abundance of fluttering solos, harmonies and shredding lead breaks. "Killing Fields", for that reason, is probably the most exciting track, as it embodies their sound so perfectly, with a kick ass intro riff that flowers into a speed freak's wet dream. Opener "Last Dance of a Dying King" is a contented stroll through Metallica state, whereas the following "Religion of Control" is a more mid-paced effort that steps up the atmosphere with an evil underpinning, and is home to the greatest riff on the album during the middle eight, in which our resident vocalist decides to remind us what we are listening to with a growled 'Thrash!' thrown in for good measure. Ace.
The production is as clean as it gets, with every instrument given a large enough expanse to wander around in, and the performance, at least musically, is tighter than Hitchcock's slacks. Not a lot that we haven't heard before, but one that the old school thrashers will enjoy. I'll be in the Outpatients ward if you fancy a visit...
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