At last, one of the most underrated bands in modern heavy metal has unleashed their 8th album to the masses. 6 years in the making, the album also provides a showcase to new members Pontus Egberg and Johan Koleberg on bass and drums respectively.
Opening up the album, “Shoot To Kill” takes everything that makes Wolf great and dials it up to 11. Super catchy riffs, up-beat drum patterns and the middle to high pitched vocals of frontman Niklas combine to create a high-flying opening track to the album which will no doubt go down a storm live.
“Dead Man’s Hand” is where we start to see the other side of Wolf make an appearance. Mid-paced, layered vocal harmonies and wah-based solos make for a track that can comfortably sit amongst ones such as “Devil Seed” and “Hail Caesar”. Following track “Midnight Hour” on the other hand, is one that would perfectly follow “Skullcrusher” in a live set and is one you can’t help but headbang along to.
Title track “Feeding The Machine” takes a similarly mid-paced feel as opposed to tracks such as “Shark Attack” and “Speed On” from earlier albums. However, it is still a worthy title track and shows off the development that has occurred in the band over the past 6 years. “The Raven” is where we get a bit of the speed that was common in earlier albums, however it’s mixed in with a verse riff similar in style to “Voodoo” from Ravenous. The blend works rather well and results in a track which will no doubt go down a storm live.
Ending the album, the final and 12th track on the album “A Thief Inside” opens with a palm-muted riff that feels oddly familiar before the song moves into a more traditional Wolf-style track. It’s an interesting track for sure and provides a suitable end to the album.
In comparison to the band’s back catalogue, there is no denying that this album is a bit different. As opposed to having faster songs such as “Shark Attack”, the band has instead slowed things down a bit and focused a bit more on mid-paced tracks with a ton of riffs. And whilst some riffs are better than others, as a whole it does work. If there has to be one negative though, it’s just a bit too long. Whilst having 12 tracks is nice, it does come off feeling like it’s only just overstayed its welcome. Which is a real shame, as there’s a hell of a lot of good riffs on there.
Feeding the Machine is out on March 13th – pre-order on Amazon to help support this site!