WOLFPAKK - review added 10th August 2011
Album Review: S/T (2011)
For fans of: Power Metal
Wolfpakk is the brainchild of Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max) and Mark Sweeney (Crystal Ball). Written by the two, and performed by them alongside more than thirty guest musicians, it's a surprise how cohesive and band-like the project sounds.
Performers including Paul Di'Anno, Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Rob Rock, Mark Boals, Tim Ripper Owens, Tony Franklin, Mat Sinner, Neil Murray, Tommy Denander, Olaf Lenk, Alessandro Delveccio are listed, though I have to say it's often hard to pick out the individual voices or playing styles.
The sound this huge bunch of musicians make is big and boisterous, yet pleasingly intelligent. Yes, the album is well-endowed on the battle metal front and they don't shy away from the odd cliche or ten, but enough of the album is genuinely refreshing to balance the silly or heard-it-all-before parts.
Song wise, though not all of this self-titled debut is the work of genius, a few songs do stand out as tracks I'll be listening to for years to come. 'Lost' is one of them. It's a progressive-tinged symphonic epic with beautiful female vocals (possibly from past Mark Sweeney cohort Pearl, though it isn't clear), gruff male vocals, and a vast vibe. 'Slam Down The Hammer' boasts a titanic chorus dripping in double kick drums. 'The Crow' is a song you've heard a thousand times before from Manowar and the like, but this sort of thing is always a blast. Same goes for the slow 'Let Me Die'; very familiar yet fresh and fun.
Wolfpakk is not always successful, but when it gets it right it nails it in a big way. This is perhaps an album where you'd pick the cream of the crop as individual MP3s, but if you do buy the LP as a whole you won't be disappointed.
Overall (Not An Average Of The Above):
2. Dark Horizons
4. Slam Down The Hammer
5. The Crow
7. Let Me Die
8. Reptile´s Kiss
9. Ride The Bullet
Vox: Paul Di'Anno (Ex-Iron Maiden), Tony Martin (Ex-Black Sabbath), Jeff Scott Soto (Ex-Y. Malmsteen, Talisman), Rob Rock (Impelitteri), Mark Boals (Ex-Y.Malmsteen), Tim Ripper Owens (Ex-Judas Priest), Paul Shortino (Ex-Quiet Riot), Mark Fox (Ex- Shakra), Michaela Schober (Tanz der Vampire), Jean-Marc Viller (Callaway), Pearl and Molly Duncan
Bass: Tony Franklin (Ex-Blue Murder, Robert Plant), Mat Sinner (Primal Fear), Matthias Rethmann (Ex-LeeZ, Silver), Nils Middelhauve (Xandria), Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Barend Courbois (Vengeance).
Guitars: Jgor Gianola (U.D.O.), Andy Midgeley (Power Quest), Ira Black (Ex-Vicious Rumors, Lizzy Borden), Torsten Koehne (Edens Curse), Doc Heyne (Biss), Tommy Denander (Dan Reed, Paul Stanley), Nadja Kossinskaja (Peter Maffay), Freddy Scherer (Gotthard), Olaf Lenk (At Vance), George Solonos (Tommy Lee)
Keys: Alessandro Delveccio (Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice), Ferdy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell, Rough Silk)
Drums: Gereon Homann (Eat the Gun)