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I’d not heard of this Death Wolf entity before. I was told this was something new from Morgan of the mighty Mardul horde, but after some fact-checking I found that this is really his Danzig-inspired Devil's Whorehouse group under a new assumed identity. And if my broken memory serves me correctly, I’d not given Devil's… the time of day on account of my disdain and distaste towards anything Danzig-related, and horror punk in general. That, and apparently the end result of his side project left quite a few listeners cold, warranting some less than stellar reviews and a lack of happy thoughts.
Still, my overall curious nature and one-time belief that this was something new led me to procure his latest punky album, so let’s see just how things stand with this here Death Wolf group…
Thankfully, this isn’t what I’d consider a “traditional” punk band, which already gives this plenty of brownie points on my end (don’t like me any punk…). What this sounds like, to my ears, is a Slayer-influenced horror thrash/punk thing mixed with elements of dark, black metal harmonies that specialize in riffing and a bitter atmosphere versus thumbing a collective nose at the evil establishment. The musical end of things is pretty top-notch in terms of performance, the way the guitar/bass riffs and nasty percussion give the listener a real, honest performance that doesn’t rely on all sorts of studio gimmickry to get their points across. The composition, though, tackles the very punk-like repetition that always drove my attention away from all forms of “better” spiked bracelet-clad band, and they end up being bogged down a bit too much by some very monotonous Danzigian warbling/Tom Araya-like shouts that get a bit annoying every once and again during both the heavier and more vanilla moments. Then again, I wouldn’t know which kind of vocal approach would work for this kind of thing, but I can say with real certainty that I didn’t care for how said vocals are portrayed. It could be worse, though…a pure Danzig emulation would’ve made this a hell of a lot worse, and thankfully there’s no real drunken Elvis impressions to drag the album down further than it's already at. I guess there’s not much else I can say about this…you either like it this kinda thing, or you don’t, and I don’t think this is an album I’d want to subject myself to daily. Or weekly. Maybe monthly, if I want a musical colonic to clear out the old pipes. As for myself, I’ll probably just stick with Marduk and let this one run its course with other listeners out there.
In the end, this one just didn’t do it for me. This may or may not go over with the devilock crowd more than the corpse painters, but I think I’ll leave this one be, as horror punk wasn’t/isn’t my cup of tea at all.
Originally written for The Offering