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After a modern, progressive and overall very promising second output, Wolfsbane get two steps away from their improvement instead of advancing and play old fashioned heavy metal and rock and roll on their eponymous record which is their last one to date. In a time when this kind of music was running low, it's surely a sympathetic gesture that Wolfsbane try to keep the spirit of the seventies and eighties alive but I preferred their experimental side and don't really like bands get stuck and live in the past. We have bands like AC/DC and Saxon for people that stopped their own cultural development in the early eighties.
From AC/DC worship boredom as heard in "My Face" to commercial soft rock like in "Black Machine", Wolfsbane deliver everything I don't want to hear them play anymore. Most of the other tracks in the beginning of the record are not even worth to be mentioned.
It's only the end of the record that saves this mellow release from falling completely apart for me. "Violence" could have also been a nice mid tempo rocker from Iron Maiden and is an interesting hint at the future of Wolfbane's charismatic singer. This track would have been the ideal choice for an energizing single. The last track "Die Again" is even better with its discordant dark grunge atmosphere and epic passages. It's one of the most varied and well performed Wolfsbane tracks ever done. The next highlight is the hidden bonus track "Say Goodbye" which is a great blues rock number for hot summer nights that says farewell on a positive and innovating as well as on a more traditional and nostalgic note that simply fits the two faces of the band.
In the end, this two faced album finally let us on a positive and equilibrated note. The album is Wolfsbane's weakest release but the last three tracks are also in the top ten of the band's greatest tracks ever done. That's why I think that this album was still a good way to say farewell and I still happen to listen to this party rock album from time to time.
I had always liked Blaze Bayley, but quite understood people saying he`s just medicore singer... until I`ve listened to Wolfsbane. And their self-title album was my first experience with this british classical band.
What kind of a record is "Wolfsbane"? I`ll tell you. It`s when the guys in the nineties stood proud with their middle fingers shown for all those who listened to grunge and other non-metal products. And they wanted to fuckin` rock and roll! Outstanding and really rare in this decade of 90s.
I won`t review songs one by one, don`t want to choose the best either, as they`re all really well-thought and blow my mind out. We`re given ten songs with rather fast pace, appropriate for rock`n`roll.
All in all, the recording is maybe not their best (cause I don`t know their two other albums yet), but it`s absolutely far better than any Blaze solo endeavor. You won`t probably find here any ingenius efforts, but consistency of the whole cd is much more than, let`s say, the recordings of countless bands that can come up with several really good numbers, but their albums are no more than decent because of the poorer ones.
You won`t hear within the songs the overwhelming need to bring something that would be succesful, what I can sense growing when listening to every next Blaze cd. Full Wolfsbane reunion with new recording would be probably better for Bayley than exchanging most musicians in the band every second year.
It just kicks ass and it`s only reason this exists. With more crap than I can imagine within metal scene it`s a diamond.