Wolf – Feeding The Machine

7/10

Swedish heavy metal heroes Wolf from Örebro have been fighting for true metal for a quarter of a century. 25 years have passed since the forming of the band and 21 years since the self titled debut album “Wolf” took the world by storm in 1999. Me personally, I saw the music video for “Moonlight” on the show “Voxpop” as an eleven year old back in the day and I have been hooked ever since.

Sure, mine and Wolf’s relationship was at it’s peak when it comes to passion and intensity when I was in my teens and early twenties, but I have always appreciated the band tremendously. My favourite albums as you may have figured out if you also have counted my age, are besides the forementioned debut, “Black Wings”, “Evil Star”, “The Black Flame” and “Ravenous”. Or, in lesser words, the albums from Wolf’s first decade as recording artists.

The two latest releases, “Legions Of Bastards” and “Devil Seed”, are both solid albums but in my humble opinion they have not reached the level Wolf had on their first five records.

When I heard the first single from this brand new Wolf album called “Feeding The Machine”, namely “Midnight Hour”, I was not very impressed. I found the song repetative and honestly quite boring. Accordingly, I naturally also began to fear that another Wolf album that could not compete with the first five, was in the works. However, when I got to experience “Feeding The Machine” as a whole album, I actually was a bit more pleasingly surprised than what I had expected.

Luckily, “Midnight Hour” actually IS one of the less exciting songs on the album, so perhaps it was a planned and well aware strategy to set the bar low with a not so great first single. Already with the first three songs; the killer trio consisting of “Shoot To Kill”, “Guillotine” and “Dead Man’s Hand”, you get the impression of a very vital and hungry Wolf. The recruitment of Pontus Egberg on bass and Johan Koleberg on drums obviosly has been a success that added some well needed new energy.

Except for the very strong trio of songs I already have mentioned, “Feeding The Machine” includes a number of memorable songs. The title track, “Devil In The Flesh” and “The Raven”. So, for those of you who are good at math, we now have six really good songs. Now, if “Feeding The Machine” consisted of eight or nine songs, this would mean that a vast majority of the album is kick ass, but the bad news is that this album has no less than twelve songs (!). So suddenly, all these high quality heavy metal songs just makes for half the album. I’m not gonna lie, we definitely have a handfull of fillers on “Feeding The Machine”. The worst one I have to say, is the weird “Spoon Bender”. That is a song idea that should have been thrown in the trash bin on an early stage.

The album contains a whole lot of mean riffs, good musicianship, solid vocals alongside quite a few really banging songs. But as I mentioned, “Feeding The Machine” also contains some fillers that bring down the album as a whole. If Wolf had focused on eight or nine songs instead, we wouldn’t have these highs and lows that damage the overall impression of the album. If “Feeding The Machine” just was eight or nine of the best songs, this would be a strong 8 out of 10, but the decision to have many songs regardless of the final products overall quality, I have to settle for a weak 7 out of 10.

However, I have to say that the strongest parts of “Feeding The Machine” makes for the best Wolf album since 2009, so this is in no way a disappointing record, although it could have been even better with fewer songs and an overall more consistent level of quality.

Artist: Wolf
Title: Feeding The Machine
Label: Century Media Records
Date of release: 13/3-20
Time: 46:52
Rating: 7/10
Stand out track: Shoot To Kill

Wolf – Feeding The Machine

March 13, 2020

The album contains a whole lot of mean riffs, good musicianship, solid vocals alongside quite a few really banging songs. But as I mentioned, "Feeding The Machine" also contains some fillers that bring down the album as a whole.

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