Label: AFM Records
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017
Biff Byford (Saxon), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Michael Vescera (ex- Yngwie Malmsteen), Tony Harnell (TNT), Oliver Hartmann (Avantasia), Jioti Parcharidis (Victory), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper), Pasi Rantanen (Thunderstone), Claus Lessmann (Phantom V), Danny Vaughn (Tyketto), Andy Lickford (Lickford)
Timo Somers (Delain), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), George Lynch (ex-Dokken), Alen Brentini (A. Gabalier), Jen Majura (Evanescence), Chris Holmes (ex-W.A.S.P.)
Rudi Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne), Marc Lynn (Gotthard), Volker Krawczak (Axel Rudi Pell), Michael Müller (Herman Frank)
Alex Holzwarth (Avantasia), Gereon Homan
Run All Night
Inside the Animal Mind
Scream of the Hawk
The 10 Commandments
I’m Onto You
You could get the impression that Mark Sweeny and Michael Voss are aiming for a world record. The amount of guest musicians the two Wolfpakk leaders invited to their newest bite is enormous. The list of supporters for the new album “Wolves Reign” is too long to mention everybody’s being involved. 26 guests have contributed to this album, including big shots like Biff Byford (Saxon), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) and much more.
The project has its roots in 2010 with a debut published in 2011. Since then two more long players followed with “Wolves Reign” being the newest strike of this series of four. With Wolfpakk it’s a kind of a two-edged sword. On the one hand, the band/project doesn’t bring too much new to the table, but what they serve is done pretty good.
It’s not only the involved musicians that bring back a melodic 80’s metal vibe, it’s mainly the songs that remind of days when Dokken, Bonfire, Mad Max and Co. had the full spotlight and attention. One of these songs with a strong retro vibe is the opener “Falling”; a melodic rocker with great hooks. “Blood Brothers” is another smashing tune on the album, that’s a bit harder and enriched by Byford’s’ unique vocals. That’s the way melodic metal needs to sound and nothing else than that.
Another highlight comes towards the end. “I’m Onto You” is a hard and heavy piece of music that shows the real power of the wolves. In general, I must say that the guys are best when they let the music rock and roll. These tunes have the pepperoni that’s needed for this tasteful melodic metal dish.
Unfortunately, the album also includes a few songs that can’t reach the same high level as the earlier mentioned numbers. The title track is a standard metal song without highs and lows. It’s solid and not more. And it’s “Mother Earth”, a track with an important message that belongs to the weaker ones too. With eight minutes it’s the longest one on the album and I have the feeling that the guys wanted to put too much in it. The more bombastic start is rather OK and the steady beat catches you immediately. What comes next are classic female vocals, a long instrumental section and some neo-classic references which are well-done but also a bit overdone. Two minutes less would have done the job as well.
To sum up: There are quite some songs that act as a strong bite by Wolfpakk. These are the highlights compared to a few tracks that are more a pinch rather than a strong bite.
Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann