Evilution or evolution? Is Wolfen changing? Tiring of past music and accomplishments, and wanting to tread a new path? These thoughts crossed my mind while listening to the latest album, Evilution, because the previous album Chapter IV was simply a strong album of classic heavy metal.
The first several songs of the album seemed to have Wolfen pursuing something more akin to power thrash metal, especially Sea of Sorrows. The songs are brash and intense with thick thrash riffs and hard charging drums. Not that they don't have melody, but there was a certain heavy-handedness to the material like Wolfen wanted more to crush you with intensity. Also, I speculated as to whether they changed singers because the vocals were all over the place, from less melodic to a harshness nearing hardcore.
Then something changed with Eternity and The Flood, the middle of the album, melody rose to the surface, and lead vocals, and vocal arrangements in general, were more harmonious. Yeah, Andreas von Lipinski got a little off kilter, gruff, on the former, but otherwise he's more melodic. There was even some subtle rock groove, the kind you find in traditional melodic heavy metal. Now, I'm thinking maybe those first three songs were a fluke or some experimentation with modern metal trends. But not so. From Pure-Culture to the end Wolfen returns to that overbearing, beat down, intensity from the start. Though the final songs are not without merit in some parts, I tired of the weight, the barrage and crush of every riff and drumbeat coming down on me like the 100 pound weight that falls on the Coyote in those Roadrunner cartoons. Hey, change can be good, at least until the listener tires off it.
With Evilution, Wolfen evolves their heavy metal, taking a more sledgehammer approach to crush you with relentless intensity.
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