Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Full Length Review: BLOOD OF THE WOLF Album I + II (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions) by Dave Wolff

Album I + II
Place of origin: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Genre: Blackened death metal
Release date: November 16, 2018
As I mentioned while reviewing their singles With Iron Weapons And Will and Campaign Of Extermination, Blood Of The Wolf features Frank Garcia of Nekropsy, Waking Chaos, Asphyxiator and the solo project Artemortifica. In the brief time they’ve been active they’ve honed and perfected their crossover of death and black metal, and become contenders for well-known indie/underground labels (if anyone from Relapse, Metal Blade or Nuclear Blast is reading, you should consider listening to them). I’ve remained in touch with Garcia since I started checking out his artwork around 2009 or 2010. It may have taken close to a decade with some lineup changes, but Blood Of The Wolf are solidifying and coming close to establishing themselves as one of the next death metal greats from the U.S. The rest of the band don’t lack brutality; Mike Koniglio complements Garcia whether he offers backup or builds on his progressions. The band’s expertise has advanced and sharpened as the two guitarists have grown accustomed to each other’s chops and influences. While the band has yet to compare with God Dethroned and Angelcorpse, the intensity is there in the reissues of their full lengths I: The Law Of Retaliation (released in 2015) and II: Campaign Of Extermination (released in April 2018). It’s this intensity that convinced thrashers to join their cause while they opened for Incantation, Marduk, Belphegor and Inquisition. Rick Hernandez demonstrates how important drums are to death and black metal; I don’t know where he gets the stamina to play blast beats but his speed and precision rivals the speed and precision of Fredrik Widigs (Marduk), Dave Suzuki (Vital Remains) and Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy). The songs recorded for the second album have improved musicianship that's more thought out and some echo in the lead vocals, both of which are nice touches. I can hear some more bass listening to all the songs on both albums; still I’d like to hear Christopher Grimes’ instrument mixed louder on the next CD. The imposing art designed for the front cover is like a cross between the art adorning Marduk’s album Heaven Shall Burn When We Are Gathered and the Sam Raimi film Evil Dead III: Army Of Darkness. Show and merch updates are at the band’s Facebook profile. -Dave Wolff

Mike Koniglio: Guitar, vocals
Frank Garcia: Guitar
Christopher Grimes: Bass
Rick Hernandez: Drums

Track list:
1. Annihilation Overture
2. With Iron Weapons And Will
3. Ours Is The Blood Of Courage
4. Overretaliate
5. The Darkness Of Chaos
6. Bellicose Ethos
7. Of Strength And Valor
8. Reborne Of Wind And War
9. Lex Talionis
10. With Satan And Victorious Weapons
11. Thunder The Drums Of War
12. Campaign Of Extermination
13. Benedictio Ultionis: Their Blood For My Glory
14. Erupting Volcanic Wrath
15. My Light And My Salvation
16. Scorched Earth Ceremony
17. With Fire And A Thousand Flashing Blades
18. A Sermon Of Slaughtered Foes

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