Death Wolf - IV: Come the Dark
Blooddawn Productions
Heavy Metal
11 songs (41' 20")
Release year: 2019
Blooddawn Productions
Reviewed by Andy

From its beginning as a Misfits-style horror-punk tribute, a sort of Slayer-as-interpreted by Glen Danzig, Death Wolf's sound has slowly metamorphosed towards a doomy heavy metal sound with some blackened elements -- the punk stylings are pretty much gone at this point. Come the Dark's strengths come mostly in the form of Valentin Mellstrom's vocals, a good match for the guitar style. Most of the tunes are pretty primitive, a holdover from their punk roots; a few are standouts.

The minimalistic guitar riffing is dominated by the vocals, layered and roared. The first track is interesting, but I found myself preferring the doomier The Sword, which has more anger and determination in the vocals and a better chorus melody than the similar (but more repetitive) Edge of the Wood. Empower the Flame, which reminds me of mid-career Testament, is also good. The difficulty for the band is that they're producing an eleven-track album and have difficulty producing songs that fit their primitive sound without repeating themselves, but they acquit themselves well. Serpents Hall, a slow, mournful slog, takes the introspection of a doom song and then builds it into Bathory-style saga, complete with background Viking chants.

The result is an album that can be better appreciated by metal fans than many of its predecessors from this band. It still has missteps: Conquerors Dance, at the end, seems to have tried for a slow-paced finale and ended up as a snooze instead. But overall the tracks on here are good and solid. Danzig fans may not care for the direction the band continues in, but fans of old-school doom/heavy metal hybrids will applaud.

Killing Songs :
The Sword, Serpents Hall
Andy quoted 76 / 100
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