There have been a few high profile comebacks within the metal fraternity during 2022, one of these is 80’s legends Leatherwolf.
Written by: [gdmonline]
ALBUM: Kill The Hunted
LABEL: N.I.L.8 Records (North America), Rock Of Angels Records (Europe)
SERIAL: NIL8-2201, ROAR2220DIGI
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dean Roberts – drums * Rob Math – guitars * Luke Man – guitars * Wayne Findlay – guitars, keyboards * Keith Adamiak – vocals * Barry Sparks – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Hit The Dirt * 02 Nobody * 03 Kill The Hunted * 04 Only The Wicked * 05 Madhouse * 06 Medusa * 07 The Henchman * 08 (Evil) Empires Fall * 09 Road Rage * 10 Lights Out Again * 11 Enslaved
WEBLINKS: Site Link
There have been a few high profile comebacks within the metal fraternity during 2022, one of these are Huntington Beach legends Leatherwolf. Despite being out of the public eye for years, the band ably led by drummer Dean Roberts never quite disappeared off the map, releasing four albums between 1999 and 2013. Roberts is the last man standing from the original lineup, and on this latest album with new personnel in tow, Leatherwolf have blown out the exhaust and have a searing hot commodity under the bonnet.
Armed and ready with a new triple axe attack, Leatherwolf come barging into your aural senses like a battering ram, no apologies offered. Though in saying that, if anyone is expecting a return to the melodic metal glory of ‘Street Ready’ then you’ll need to look elsewhere for your metal fix.
‘Hit The Dirt’ gallops in from the wasteland, guitars swinging like medieval axes while the gang chants are delivered in a battalion like grunt. The guitars head into dive bombing territory on ‘Nobody’, the whammy bars getting a total stress test among a relentless rhythm section and shredding solos. ‘Kill The Hunted’ grinds out stainless steel riffs in the vein of bands like Malice or Attacker. The solo work is off the scale.
The heat is turned down marginally on ‘Only The Wicked’. Verses are light but the choruses are amped up. I was reminded of Fifth Angel in some parts. ‘Madhouse’ is just balls out heavy, everyone doing their bit to lift this up a notch or two. ‘Medusa’ continues the relentless delivery method, with more emphasis on power rather than out-n-out speed. ‘The Henchman’ goes for the epic metal calling card, not quite in the same league as Manowar, mainly they are operating at a slightly faster tempo.
Probably a better fit for that epic metal tag would be ‘(Evil) Empires Fall’. This one is a continuous slow surge. Unlike the punishing 4 wheel fury of ‘Road Rage’ with the cookie monster vocals of Keith Adamiak being most prominent. ‘Lights Out Again’ features more OTT guitar onslaught and vocal growling, the finale ‘Enslaved’ completes the set, and it’s good timing too as the album was starting to resemble a metallic blur between songs.
Leatherwolf’s return on 2022 is most welcome, though I feel they’ve lost whatever identity they had by sounding nothing like they used to. Now they sound like a whole bunch of other current metalnauts operating in the same space. Admittedly it’s a very crowded space and it is hard to sound unique.
Judging from what I’ve seen on Leatherwolf’a social media, ‘Kill The Hunted’ is accumulating decent reviews from all over the world. I believe they’ll do far better in Europe and Japan rather than the pathetic audience response from the hip-hop obsessed North America. Kill ‘Em all as Metallica once said.
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