Wolfpack Unleashed - _Anthems of Resistance_
(Napalm Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (6.5 out of 10)
Wolfpack Unleashed did not impress with an unnecessary stunt: there are 80 tracks on this CD. That is not a typo. But there are only ten songs in total -- for whatever reason, the band has opted to divide the last seven songs over approximately ten tracks each. The reasoning for this is a mystery; the songs do not change when the track changes, and the LCD screen is the only indication between shifts. At least the songs are different, even if the tracks that make up a song are not. I'm not sure why the first three songs do not receive this treatment -- track three is the radio edit of "Religion of Control", whilst the full version is contained on tracks 70-80. The message this conveys is that it is OK to irritate us, the record buying public, but not play list compilers.

Although this irked me greatly, I have not let it interfere with my review. If you just let this CD play, without glancing at the LCD display, one would be none the wiser as to their stunt.

The solid production, catchy melodies and the backing of a major indy suggest that they need not rely on silly gimmicks to gain attention. Although Wolfpack Unleashed are an Austrian thrash band, they are not inspired by their German cousins, and have opted for the melodic Bay Area thrash approach. Actually, the melodies are a bit too upbeat, with songs such as "Last Dance of a Dying King" sounding just too happy. This may be acceptable for a quartet of beer bellied and balding power metallers, but not for what is supposed to be an aggressive thrash band.

The vocalist has an appropriate approach, with clearly enunciated shouted vocals that are not terribly dated, nor entirely modern. Not all songs are as upbeat, but neither are they as aggressive as they could have been. Wolfpack Unleashed do construct some decent numbers, the vocalist does a good job; it's just too damn happy. Maybe they should revisit the early Sodom records, as their thrash would benefit greatly with some grittiness and balls out aggression. I imagine they will still sell -- there is a huge market for accessible and heavy melodies -- but to these ears, it just feels watered down.

Contact: http://www.napalmrecords.com

(article published 3/10/2007)


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