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Bays At Ye Ole Blood Moon Whilst (All) The Other Dogs Bark - 72%

CHAIRTHROWER, December 28th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

Admittedly, my knowledge of Manitoban heavy rock/metal leaves much to be desired. Aside from spotting the odd Propagandhi T-shirt amongst a (wacky) crowd back in college or fawning over Evil Survives' killer "Die Like A Samurai", I've yet to musically sink my cuspids (i.e. canines) into Canada's Easternmost Prairie province. Therefore, it's a pleasantly conducive surprise to receive hails from Winnipeg's Dyerwolf, an up-and-coming Blue Öyster Cult-&-Trooper-meets-twentieth century Orange Goblin crosshatched with the cheek and well, ballsier "cheek" (i.e. side) of Bachman Turner Overdrive kind of quinary formation which, on the (strumpet) heels of a token, anodyne titular instrumental, bumptiously flogs the highway, Jack Kerouac style, with "Back On The Road", a wistful but no less gruff and rudely sashaying pentatonic humdinger sure to shake both ticks and permafrost off your grey/tawny-brown fur...

That said, by no means is D-Wolfe a proponent of the above latter's cock-rockin' sensibilities, or, for that matter, tepid and lame FM rock kowtowing; rather, the band sounds fresh, lively and organic, however stuck in the grip of self-actualization/realization...In other, discombobulating words, it's evident, from widely diverging song flavors (i.e. the slapdash and "jam"-like 3.75 minute opener arduously clashing with said bass heavy, prong-y successor), along with a permeating "rough draft" sensation owing as much to the album's grist-milling, abrasive production values as to its undeniably homey, lowbrow flair, this release represents a first-time amalgam(ation) of specific peers which valiantly strives to find its groove (or "niche", but, in honor/celebration of feral hounds, prefer the former as this peculiar term skirts French colloquial slang for "dog house", as in "A la niche, Fido!").

Instead, early bebop-ing highlights such as as the rough-and-tumble far-out pummel-er, "Heretic", or waltzing, 'herkimer-jerkimer' brow-beater, "Silver Spoon", slyly hint of Dyrewolf's emerging sound, and while it's true the outfit still has a ways to go before leading the pack, its genuine, genial bent effortlessly induces many winsome returns. In fact, I adamantly dig the front wolfman's nostalgic, off-kilter semantics - duly so on the first track proper (and aforementioned zinger), "Back On The Road", where, to my wax-laden ears, he brings to mind Trooper's "we're-here-for-a-good-time;not-a-long-time" vocalist, Ra[mon] McGuire. Zowie!

Amounting to roughly forty minutes, the nine tracks lay between three and five except for the distinctively progressive, if not "doomily" up-beat, six minute long finale, "The Mountain Crumbles" (bonus points for employing such vividly onomatopoeic verbiage), incontestably a versatile and expansive selection in light of its choppy n' curt main riff, boggling bass line and cryptically expressive - not to mention side-winding - burst of full-circle leads. A defiantly strange outlier, however, consists of the haphazard and foppish "Greed of A Nation", which imbues Dyrewolf with waggish, albeit welcome, eccentricity and kook (here and there, uniquely transcendent, not to mention gregariously bizarre, personages such as Buckethead mime their staunch, ketchup stained approval). Alternatively, the footloose and shuffling "The Glory", with its wicked "classic rock" style guitar solo (commencing three minutes in), is as toothsome - and postprandial - as any Cuban cigar or cognac following one's bloody repast - that is, your choice of slain lamb, pork chop and/or tenderloin (not the fruity San Francisco variety, mind).

Recapping now, aside from the jazzier "Back On The Road" and "Silver Spoon", as well as ruefully carnival-esque "Veto", each cut appears to stroll independently of its own accord. Potentially, and except for "Dyrewolf" proper , each could be considered as a single. Ineluctably, this "singular" quality smacks of zealously auspicious (future) tidings. All told, Dyrewolf should readily appeal to fans of eclectic boogie-ing fare such as Kaine, Orange Goblin, Mothership and Atomic Bitchwax, which says plenty about the band's spirited "wolvie" inclinations.

Delay no more - howl this up soon, lest all thousand CD copies sell out like hot cakes...

"I'm heading out on the open road
I've got my bags packed and ready to go!
Just to explore the Unknown, yeah
I'm ready to get on with the show-oh!"

*Originally written for the Metal Archives but also glean-able at www.grande-rock.com

Where Wolves Dare - 72%

SweetLeaf95, December 17th, 2018

Dyrewolf are a young group of Canadian headbangers that just dropped their self titled debut record here at the tail end of 2018. In short, they bring a pretty basic platter of ‘80s heavy metal that follows an Iron Maiden type formula almost step by step, but dropping in hints at rock n roll as well. Quite frankly, the opening instrumental track sounds almost exactly like “Where Eagles Dare” but without lyrics.

With this in mind, it should be very obvious that the guitar playing techniques follow a steady rhythmic pattern with a lot of harmonics added on, especially with the bridges that lead up to solos. The distortions are a bit crunchier and the overall production is a little harder on the ears, but that helps it stand out, thus being a good thing.

The bottom half of this record is definitely the superior side, because this is where more originality sneaks in. “Silver Spoon” has more groove to it and pays homage to the ‘70s hard rockers, while the following track “Freedom Of Sin” manages to throw some of the strongest guitar complexions at us and delivers a wicked solo; I’d say there’s a little power metal fun to be had. Right when you think you’ve got it figured out, “Veto” comes in with a psychedelic lick, stripping away any aggression, despite the faster drum kicks to boost the energy a bit.

The main downfalls that lie within are the fact that the first half of the album shows basically no originality, and the vocals need some work. There’s a clear understanding of what Dyrewolf are trying to go for, but there’s also some clear struggle behind the pipes that wind up being shallower than the rest of the music. For what it’s worth, Dyrewolf is absolutely worth hearing in full and provides a worthwhile ride, with some neat stuff afoot on side B.

Originally written for Antichrist Magazine:
https://antichristmagazine.com/review-dyrewolf-dyrewolf/