his inner evil through the devilish tritone in Black Sabbath, Heavy Metal’s
unbridled evolution has mutated itself into many new and diverse sonic forms. However,
there is nothing in this world which evokes such a primal response in the human
mind and body as the classic Heavy Metal sound. Consequently, its relevance
stands firm on its ground till date. The latest example of this is Wolf’s seventh studio album ‘Devil Seed’, which was out on August
25th via Century Media.
classic Heavy Metal sound while whipping up a sinister mix of metal goodness.
So everything that we expect in terms of catchy guitar melodies, soaring vocals
and anthem-like choruses, are in generous doses here. The album kicks off with a
two minute intro, interestingly named “Overture
in C Shark”. It gives off a very band-jam kind
of vibe, where the members come in one by one to build up the melody; aggravating
the anxiety of the listener, who at this point, is dying to hear them explode
into a metal inferno. They don’t disappoint one bit.
by “Shark Attack”, which instantly transports
you to the 80’s NWOBHM era as Niklas
Stalvind’s over-the-top vocals announces a Shark Attack warning. I would
have loved for “Overture in C Shark” to lead into “Shark Attack” without any
pause, since the brief stop in between these two tracks is a slight momentum
breaker. However, “Shark Attack” ramps up the muscle instantly through its
crunchy melodic riffs and soaring vocals. Niklas Stalvind really gives his
throat a jolt of adrenaline during the chorus.
Simon Johansson gives us some soulful solos, and pairs up with
Niklas Stalvind to provide some memorable guitar melodies in the rhythm sections
throughout the album. “Skeleton Woman”
lowers the speed by a notch, but the free-flowing guitar melodies and the evil-injected
vocals make up for this. Niklas Stalvind alternates between slow, pleading
vocals and sinister screams, as he narrates a nightmarish tale about a twisted psychopath
who lures hapless victims, kills them, and collects their skulls and bones.
at their full unabashed display right from the word GO, on “Surgeons of Lobotomy”, “I
am Pain”, “My Demon” and “River Everlost”. Try to stop yourself
from pumping the air with your fists as Niklas screams “ROOWWW” in “Surgeons of
Lobotomy”, or from bobbing your head to the melodic intro of “I am Pain”. The
guitar melodies are reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s progressive sounds in albums
like ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Dance of Death’. Speed clearly takes a back seat in
this album as Wolf focuses more on intricate guitar work over a steady
mid-tempo Heavy Metal gallop, as well as on exploding choruses; the prime
examples being “The Dark Passenger”
and “River Everlost”. Apart from “Shark Attack” and “Back from the Grave”, all the other tracks are easy-paced but full
of tangled and supremely melodic instrumental fills.
Wolf do not try to be innovative or experimental in their sound. However, their
sincerity towards the music they create makes it possible to view ‘Devil Seed’
as an homage to the classic Heavy Metal sound, rather than a cheesy rip off.
and speed might not hold ‘Devil Seed’ in high regards. However, if you are looking
for some old-fashioned, fist-pumping, headbanging metal with a tinge of
modernity (mainly due to the production), this album is for you. I am a sucker
for Old School metal, and for people like me, it would make them nostalgic as
hell and transport them back to the glory days of leather, studs, high-pitched
screams and powerful, melodic guitars.
the Grave”, “I Am Pain”