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Wolf – Shadowland


Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Century Media Records
Year: 2022

Wolf released their first album in 1999, so they failed to join the greats of classical metal that flourished in the 1980s, nor to be integrated in the NWOTHM movement. Truth be told metalheads were not so interested in this sound. Still it was a time where great records were out. The absence of interest by fans and Press was the only logical reason that these records did not receive the popularity they deserved. All their records are excellent and in the process they managed to develop a personal style in a genre where the influences usually go beyond the personal stigma. But let’s see what happens in “Shadowland”. In “Feeding the Machine” two years ago, they managed to write 12 songs of the same high quality. It’s the same logic that we are dealing here with the 10 plus 1 bonus track songs. There is a tremendous flow and once again the songwriting is great. Niklas Stalvind’s voice is once again the strong card for Wolf. In addition to having a unique hue and distinguishing them from the masses, it has made noticeable improvement steps and gives an extra dynamic to the band. The rhythm section is clean and solid, in order to serve the composition. The guitars on the other hand, are the ones that give personality and a special style to the band. They sound sharp but at the same time dark. In songs like “The Ill-Fated Mr. Mordrake” or “Rasputin”, the whole philosophy of Wolf’s sound appears in full glory. No other band has managed to match the legacy of Judas Priest and Mecyful Fate so harmoniously, while putting its own stamp. They are dark without deviating from their heavy character (and melodic where needed). But they do it their own way and the result is great. The album moves mostly in mid-tempo rhythms with some more speedy moments, like in “Evil Lives”. “Shadowland” is another perfect addition to their discography and one reason why classic Heavy Metal remains relevant and up to date.

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