Album Review: Bad Wolves - N.A.T.I.O.N.
Reviewed by Tim Finch
The sound of a guitar string being scratched echos through your speakers, the frequency of this noise intensifies to point of crescendo before the drums kick in, swiftly followed by the bass all whilst the scratching tone continues. Then BANG ‘I’ll Be There’ the first song on Bad Wolves new album N.A.T.I.O.N. kicks off. It’s quite the starting point for their second release, one that quickly grabs the attention of the listener. Once they have you by the balls they pull you into true rest of the release.
This October Bad Wolves will unleash those beast of an album onto the world. The follow up to 2018’s ‘Disobey’ which reached #3 in the US rock charts.
"Who are Bad Wolves?" I hear some of you ask. Not so much a super group but the coming together of former artists from a slew of other bands. Vocalist Tommy Vext (ex-Divine Heresy, ex-Snot, ex-Westfield Massacre), drummer John Boecklin (ex-DevilDriver), lead guitarist Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), rhythm guitarist Chris Cain (ex-Bury Your Dead, ex-For the Fallen Dreams) and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment, ex-Scar the Martyr, Vimic).
As the album continues ‘No Messiah’ provides interesting listening, throbbing heavy riffs, and Vext’s variation in vocals from melodic harmonies to deathly screams, adding a depth to the bands sound.
To describe their sound is not the easiest feet to achieve. They mix elements of hard rock, heavy riffs, more than a hint of that early 2000’s nu-metal sound and at times a doff of the cap in Nicklebacks direction. Ultimately what they achieve is an extremely radio friendly sound of relatively heavy music. Heavy, raucous but leaving the door open for main stream mass appeal.
‘Better Off This Way’ changes things up, the number starting off acoustic, with Vext again stretching his vocal abilities for this softly delivers love song of sorts. A wonderful guitar solo which breaks up this power ballad and will no doubt be a driving force behind the bands radio popularity.
Ultimately this is an album aimed squarely at the popular side of the heavy metal spectrum. If you are into your nu-metal, your Nickleback's and even the odd power ballad or two then you will love this album, as I’m sure many mass market listeners will too. But will it win over the rest of the heavy metal community? Only time will tell.
Bad Wolves release 'N.A.T.I.O.N.' via Eleven Seven Music on October 25th.