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Wolfpakk: Wolves Reign
HWolfpakk Wolves Reign CD Album Review

Wolfpakk: Wolves Reign

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

With some consistency, Wolfpakk creators vocalist Mark Sweeney and guitarist Michael Voss have dropped a new album about every two years. Wolves Reign marks their fourth album collaboration. They also stick to their music production formula. They craft the songs and then get a bunch of guest vocalists and musicians to record them. The guest list is a "who's who" of melodic hard rock and heavy metal luminaries from around the world, but mostly from the larger European and UK theater. Notable performers include Biff Byford (Saxon), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Mike Vescera (Ex-Malmstenn), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Dio), George Lynch (Ex-Dokken), Chris Holmes (Ex-W.A.S.P.), and Alex Holzwarth (Avantasia, Rhapsody Of Fire). With this PDF, you can see the complete guest list with what they do on which song.

Wolfpakk Band Photo

Michael Voss and Mark Sweeny

So, essentially, Wolves Reign is pretty much more of the same from Voss, Sweeney, and friends, a repeat of Rise Of The Animal. Pick your cliche. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Are their any notable differences? Maybe one. I'll get to that in moment. But for the newbie, something should be said of the Wolfpakk musical motif. Largely and mostly, the songs are melodic heavy metal tunes, often with a power metal pace, definitely having a lot of rock groove. Melody and harmony are always at a premium, notable in the brisk sharp riffage and vocal harmonies. As in the past, in most songs, the guest vocalist sings with Sweeney.

And it's in the vocal arrangements where there is some difference from the previous record. Within Rise Of The Animal the vocals were largely gnarly and raw. This time around, mostly, they're clean, melodic, and harmonious. There are a two exceptions. In Inside The Animal, Victory vocalist Jioti Parcharidis has a gnarly snarl to his voice, but it fits the timbre of the song. In I'm On To You, Killer vocalist Andy Lickford sounds like he swallowed razors drenched in cheap Kentucky bourbon. Musically, I still liked the song.

Fundamentally, I like the direction Wolfpakk started with Rise Of The Animal and continues with Wolves Reign, delivering edgier, more energetic, melodic heavy metal, stuffed with rock groove and infused with AOR accessibility. Top song picks? Definitely, Wolves Reign, Tomorrowland, and No Remorse.



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The Bottom Line

I like the direction Wolfpakk started with Rise Of The Animal and continues with Wolves Reign, delivering edgier, more energetic, melodic heavy metal, stuffed with rock groove and infused with AOR accessibility.

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