Wolf – Shadowland

7/10
Swedish heavy metal legion Wolf have been bringing us pure metal terror for about 25 years now and I, like many others, discovered them in 1999 when the video for the song “Moonlight” was on heavy rotation on the classic swedish video show “Voxpop”. In those days, Wolf alongside HammerFall, Lost Horizon and a few more, were the only ones playing true classic heavy metal. Since I worshipped (and still do!) all the old school heavy metal bands of the 80’s, I was of course instantly hooked.
For me, the band peaked with their second album “Black Wings” from 2002, but overall I’d say the period from aforementioned “Black Wings” to 2009 with the albums “Evil Star”, “The Black Flame” and “Ravenous”, pretty much contain all top class albums. Truly no fillers, all killers on those four records.
After releasing “Legions Of Bastards (2011)” and “Devil Seed (2014)”, I wasn’t very impressed to be honest, since I found both albums pretty boring by Wolf standards. After a six year break, it was then time for “Feeding The Machine”, which I thought was a real step in the right direction for the band. After hearing “Shadowland”, I can happily say that this progress has continued on this record as well. The recruiting of bass player Pontus Egberg (also in King Diamond) really turned out great for Wolf both live as well as in the studio. You can tell that the band has a lot more energy now than what they seem to have had from time to time.
I’d actually say that “Shadowland” is the best Wolf album since “Ravenous”. Maybe it doesn’t contain that extra mind blowing stuff I’d need for the really high grades, plus I could use a little bit more fury and aggression here and there, but it still contains a lot of good songs. The album opener as well as the first single “Dust”, “Visions For The Blind”, “Evil Lives”, “The Ill-Fated Mr. Mordrake”, “Rasputin” as well as the title track.
However… A super corny song like “The Time Machine” really doesn’t have any place on this album. Just listen to these lyrics:
“If we ever build the time machine
Would we ever make things right?
I think… not
What do you think?”
Come on guys, seriously? I know you can do better than this. Give me some metal lyrics! I like you way more when you’re singing about “speeding on and on” or “steelwinged savage reapers” than time machines and making things right.
I still like that Wolf have continued on the road they started with “Feeding The Machine” and it’s positive that they have fewer songs on this one. I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week.
On “Shadowland”, Wolf show that they are a force still to be reckoned with. Sure, I’ll be honest and say I don’t think this is the most interesting band on the market, but you know what? You don’t always want a fancy dinner. Sometimes you just want your meat and potatoes and Wolf bring that to the table with both accuracy as well as tons of experience.
https://open.spotify.com/album/3XChH0deyZy39f2ntkqG96?si=uq44foAdR9WsYj3NZTfXQQ
Artist: Wolf
Title: Shadowland
Label: Century Media Records
Date of release: 1/4 2022
Rating: 7/10
Stand out track: Evil Lives

Wolf – Shadowland

April 11, 2022

The recruiting of bass player Pontus Egberg (also in King Diamond) really turned out great for Wolf both live as well as in the studio.

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