Vocalist Michael Voss and Mark Sweeney are no strangers to heavy metal. Both have shared the spotlight with their respective groups Casanova and Crystal Ball so when they decided to team up it promises to be a musical event. They do not disappoint. Then when you throw in guest musicians and singers of the likes of Paul Di'anno, Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Franklin, Jgor Gianola, Rob Rock, Ferdy Doernberg, Tim "Ripper" Owens and a host of others the outcome is almost a foregone conclusion. Wolfpakk is a terrific slice of melodic metal that will literally have you howling for more.
You would have to call this disc happy power metal similar in style to bands such as Freedom Call. The anthem like quality with the built in sing-a-long choruses are a staple here and these guys know how to bring it. This brand of music is infectious and very habit forming so don't be surprised when you find it hard to take it out of the player.
The two singers divide the album up with equal doses of each of their styles. While they both have a similar kind of delivery the differences still give this one a unique feel as they trade off vocal duties. From the powerful beginning of the terrific "Sirens" you are catapulted into the realm of real European power metal the way it is suppose to sound and effect the listener. Whether they are bringing out the epic hero story like in "Dark Horizons" or giving you a harsh "Reptile's Kiss" these guys are close to perfection in both scope and effect. This is the kind of album that is all about escapism and the way that music can take you far from the mundane everyday life.
One of the songs that really grabbed me was the epic tale "Let Me Die". This kind of slow harsh driving metal with powerful chorus that is punctuated by Jeff Scott Soto is a menacing bit of grinding heavy metal that will bring visions of the warrior and his wish to die as a hero and it is not out of the question to think of Braveheart when the narrator of this tale extolls you to yell for freedom. This is gripping songwriting and a masterful piece to say the least. I may be a sucker for this kind of stuff but there is still good and bad in this genre and this one leans to the great.
The other song that really captivated me is the ten minute closer "Wolfony". If I was to chose a tune that defines melodic power metal this one could easily fit the bill. Majestic and powerful it gets a little bit of help from Tim "Ripper" Owens and some terrific guitar work by Michael Voss, George Solonos and Andy Midgley. The haunting organ solo by Ferdy Doernberg also enhances this memorable tune. It is a fit way to end the very cool album. They really leave you wanting more and more.
Here is a little gem of old school heavy metal. These guys know what they are doing and fans of the genre will not be disappointed. You don't get many albums with this kind of savoir-faire. It is majestic, melodic, metal and most of all...just downright good!
2. Dark Horizons
4. Slam Down The Hammer
5. The Crow
7. Let Me Die
8. Reptile's Kiss
9. Ride The Bullet