Death Wolf - Death Wolf
Not sure what was wrong with their old name, but Devils Whorehouse is now Death Wolf. Either way, this side project of Marduk guitarist Morgan Hakansson has gotten harder and dropped some of the horror-rock trappings that I guess proved to be restrictive. This self-titled release is full-on heavy metal, with some ambient black metal touches and the occasional melodic interlude; in all, the dozen songs here make for a relentless attack that bodes well for the future of the project.
The key is Hakansson's vocals, which are angry and hoarse, but not croaky and predictable. He sounds just like a pissed off guy, not someone playing to the formula. That said, the more straight-on songs work best: the economy and brutality of "Circle of Abomination" "Black Mark" and "Weaving Death" stand out. Of the mid-tempo-to-plodding tunes, "Wolf's Pallid Sister" and "Ironwood" retain that passion and fire.
The few stumbles are those songs where the dramatic, horror touches return and undermine the momentum. "The Other Hell" almost sounds like a bid for a single; "Unto Undying eyes" and "Coming Forth By Night" try to hard to be epic, when Death Wolf have already proven their ability to reach that level effortlessly without pretention.
"Death Wolf" shows off a handful of skills that make for sincere, sweaty hard rock goodness. That Hakansson and Co. succumb to the operatic and bloated at times is sad, but there is enough bedrock to this set to trust that the band will continue to play to its strengths.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.