Wolfs Moon - Keep Metal Alive
MDD
Heavy Metal
11 songs (52:49)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Mike

Here's Germany's Wolfs Moon, an old school metal band with what is I believe their fifth album in twelve years of existence. Despite being around for over a decade, this band has remained well in the underground. This is my first exposure to the band's music, so I feel that I can offer an unbiased opinion of this band, and perhaps why they still might be relegated to the underground.

These guys are playing traditional heavy metal, much in the 80's style of Running Wild (Under Jolly Roger), some Metallica (before they sucked), and an old heavy / thrash favorite of mine, Wrathchild America. As the title of the opening tracks indicates, Still Believe In Metal, these guys live and breathe heavy metal, playing their music with passion and enthusiasm. The musicianship is very tight and well played. I am especially a fan of the guitar tone, very similar to the aforementioned Pirates of Metal, Running Wild. The riffs throughout this disc are certainly enough to get your neck moving. The rhythm section is bold, with the drummer contributing more than just standard fill. As for the actual compositions, I find them to be the blueprint for standard 80's traditional heavy metal. There are a handful of bright spots as far as songwriting goes, but the majority of the album passes without grabbing my full attention. Like I said, the meaty guitar work and ambitious drum work makes for an interesting listen. However, an album needs to contain interesting song structure to keep folks coming back to album months and even years after its release. Even though the riff fan inside me is fully satisfied, the overall song structure is a bit of a let down. Hence, here is one reason the band is relegated to the underground; excellent musical talent, but mediocre song writing skills.

The second glaring flaw that I hear in the band's music lays with the lead vocals. This fellow has a great voice, falling somewhere between Brad Divens of heavy / thrash outfit Wrathchild America and Steve Grimmet (Grim Reaper). His powerful, slightly raspy style is a great match for this music. He delivers a nice boost of energy to the songs. However, he misses notes more than once, and these instances really grate on your nerves very easily. This problem is chronic enough to detract from even the stronger compositions on the album. If Maxe can gain better control over his delivery, the entire package will be so much better.

Despite some excellent individual displays as far as musicianship goes, excessive mediocre song structures and chronic off key vocals are two very big sore spots for this band. As a result, I can't see Wolfs Moon breaking out of the underground any time soon. As a big fan of traditional heavy metal, I still enjoyed this album to some degree. Once you get used to the shaky vocals, this album will have something to offer fans of traditional heavy metal, and especially fans of underground metal. Certainly a "try before buy" for fans of this specific style of music; others can skip to something else.

Killing Songs :
Still Believe In Metal, Timestream Horrorsphere, Bonus Track (yes, that's the actual song title)
Mike quoted 58 / 100
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