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Leatherwolf: World Asylum

One of the first records I ever received as a music critic was a vinyl version of Leatherwolf's Street Ready, released in 1989 by Island Records. It sounded a little out of place then, and its predecessor, World Asylum, sounds a little out of place now. That's part of Leatherwolf's abrasive charm, though. After Street Ready, the band parted ways but reunited in 1999 for some live dates and an album chronicling one of those gigs (Wide Open). Then Leatherwolf disbanded again - but still not for good.

Now comes World Asylum, the group's first studio record since Street Ready. It's practically self-released, and it enters a world where metal barely registers with its former label. Should old-school fans still care? You bet. Today, these guys have a new lineup featuring original members Dean Roberts on drums and Geoff Gayer on guitar, plus Wade Black on vocals, (Seven Witches, Crimson Glory), Eric Halpern on guitar (Destiny's End, Helstar) and Pete Perez on bass (Riot, Spastic Ink). And with a sound akin to Slave to the Grind-era Skid Row injected with some Motley Crue and early Savatage, World Asylum indulges in the band's potent, slightly twisted but borderline commercial blend of traditional heavy metal and arena rock with such addictive songs as "King of the Ward" and the creepy "Institutions." But the record also contains a few more aggressive (and progressive) elements than Street Ready. Black adds grit to balls-to-the-wall headbangers like "I Am the Law" and "Live Or Die," and the dual guitars fatten up the sound. As if to prove that this new version of the band is tougher than the Street Ready lineup, Leatherwolf now seems preoccupied with violence indeed, "We are the violence" is part of the resounding chorus to "Disconnect." And by writing songs with titles like "Behind the Gun" and "Dr. Wicked (Rx O.D.)" and not making them sound cheesy, Leatherwolf proves there's some substance behind the band's return.

Track Listing:
1) I Am the Law
2) King of the Ward
3) Behind the Gun
4) Live or Die
5) Disconnect
6) Dr. Wicked (Rx O.D.)
7) Institutions
8) Derailed
9) The Grail
10) Never Again

Added: October 20th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Leatherwolf Web Site
Hits: 3857
Language: english

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