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Skeleton Wolf: Skeleton Wolf

It's quite astounding just how impressive small, independent releases can sound these days, so while it's not a surprise that the trio of Jeff Mason (bass), Tim Green (vocals) and Brett Schlagel (guitars) (there's no mention of who plays drums) have created a thrash/death/black/Scandie crossover with a superb sound and attack, it's still worth mentioning. Thankfully across this reasonably short seven track effort the boys back it up with some twisted, involving metal that's varied enough to keep you fixed on its tracks, without ever threatening to venture into any new territory. A few bands flit past as inspiration, Children Of Bodom a little evident in the vocals, Dark Tranquility and In Flames in the music, yet there's no doubt Green is comfortable spreading himself across a few vocal attacks and Schlagel is as skilled at picking out unexpected little melody lines as he is crushing riffs. The likes of "MPFF" (which would appear to stand for Metal, Punk, Fight, Fuck, and is maybe the guys idea of a good Saturday night?) builds up a massive groove and releases it with furious intent, while "Whatever Demons (We All Have Them)" takes a slower approach in building up a serious head of steam. The pair highlights on a pretty consistent outing.

Things do lose a little impetus as the album heads towards its conclusion, "She's Insane" and "Forever Awake" while equally intense, not quite as memorable. However with the opening pair of "Bow Down To Death" and "At The Sixth Foot" which opens with the sounds of dirt being shovelled and crows cawing, before becoming the album's most atmospheric piece the good far outweighs the bad.

It's early days for this Indiana three piece, but with this self titled debut Skeleton Wolf have laid down a strong marker of what may be to come. If they can build on the more impressive end of what is offered up here and start nurturing a slightly stronger identity for themselves, their future could be very interesting indeed.

Track Listing
1. Bow Down To Death
2. At The Sixth Foot
3. M.P.F.F.
4. Whatever Demons (We Have Them All)
5. Eternal Lies
6. She's Insane
7. Forever Awake

Added: December 18th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Skeleton Wolf online
Hits: 1864
Language: english

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