Death Wolf - II: Black Armoured Death (Century Media)

More of the same, but better...
Release Date: 
17 Feb 2013 - 11:30pm

Death Wolf’s last album, their first since changing their name from the cartoonish Devils Whorehouse to the altogether more sinister present moniker, was something of a treat. Indeed it was so good that MaF helmsman Scott Adams was moved to coo in his review in these very URLs that Death Wolf the album is ’forty minutes of extreme, greasily addictive aggrssion’, so obviously on hearing a new release on the horizon I was keen to sink my ears into it to see if the band are carrying on on the right track….

And largely the answer has to be they are. Black Armoured Death is essentially more of the same from these dark matter-obsessed Swedes; As often happens on second releases, the heavier bits seems heavier and more spiteful, the slower passages are, yes, slower, and more eerie than of yore. Best track for me is the one-and-three-quarter minute blast of hate that is the title track, which sees the band heading in a more classic crossover punk/thrash style than their default goth setting; To these ears that’s a big plus, but it’s not a seismic generic shift we’re witnessing here. For the most part, the black cascades of heaviness that spill from the speakers courtesy of the likes of the frankly excellent Death Wolf March are still the musical prime movers here, which will surely keep the bands existing fans happy whilst opening up new horizons for the band to reach out to other areas of the metal fraternity.

I certainly hope that that turns out to be the case, for to dismiss the band as mere Danzig worshipping buffoons – as I’ve heard one or two of my chums doing down the Crobar occasionally – would be to deny yourself the opportunity of entering into a Luciferian Blood Covenant  or, worse still missing out on the glum psychedelia of Little Black Angel.

The album finishes with the sinister chug of Snake Mountain – a song which really does bring back memories of the first album with vocalist Maelstrom adding a touch of Southern Death Cult-era Ian Astbury to his usual style with surprisingly non-hilarious results – and the dirgelike Rothenburg,  which plays its part perfectly in drawing a close to proceedings in suitably grim style.

No real changes to report then, but if I were you I’d be getting amongst this toot sweet whatever style of heaviness you’re attracted to – you won’t regret it.