Abattoir – Vicious Attack (Combat 1985)

This record’s sort of a gem, at lest side A is, the B-side is a forgettable collection of mediocrity. I picked this up at flea market, mainly to fill up the 5 for the price of 3 bargain dealy thing. I’ve listened to this record every now again, and the main draw is the first tracks off of the A-side; Screams From the Grave and Vicious Attack (Maniac). These two tracks are bursts of energy and scream-along greates. Vicious Attack (Maniac) is a great car song as well, at least if you want to drive fast. I have the speeding ticket to prove its effectiveness.

Both these songs are a cross of thrash and speed metal, they don’t have quite the edge of 1985 Slayer, Megadeth or Metallica, but they are fast, heavy and filled to the rim with riffs and headbanging goodness. Side-A is completed by the easily forgotten The Enemy and a ripping cover of Ace of Spades, dutyfully and lovingly done.

The B-side starts off with a warning of a lowering of the bar; The Living and the Dead. The riff is half assed, at best.  Stronger Than Evil is ok, it’s passable and unremarkable. Don’t Walk Alone is a classic skipper-track, with awful comic book style lyrics. Game of Death is the strongest track of the B-side. The riffs are better, the lyrics aren’t horrible and the energy is back.

All in all it’s not the best record, not the worst. It’s totally understandable why this band sort of faded away in the fog of time. One of the most annoying things about this record is the fact that it’s not available through Spotify, google play or Itunes. It was however re-released on cd and vinyl by Century Media a while back.

Recommended tracks: Screams from the Grave, Vicious Attack (Maniac), Ace of Spades

Rating: 2,5 / 5

Wolf – Legion of Bastards (Century Media, 2011)

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In my opinion Wolf has taken some giant steps from the Iron Maiden worship of their earlier albums. Now they only sound like a band heavily influenced by Iron Maiden. Legion of Bastards is a just such an eighties metal influenced album.

 

The sole original member, Niklas Stålvind, and especially his voice, is the main element of Wolf’s sound. In many ways it is also the only thing that makes them stand out from the crowd of eighties worshipping heavy metal acts. He has this, squeaking, almost whiny quality to it, that makes him sound honest and, at times, bursting with energy. Although it falls short on harder numbers, like Skullcrusher.

 

The opener, Vicious Companions, is a snarly tune that fits Wolf perfectly, this is the kind of song they do well. Skullcrusher is a good song, but I have issues with the vocals, as mentioned above. Full Moon Possession is another killer track, bursting with energy and a driving beat.

 

The best song of the album is by far Jekyll & Hyde. It’s just so powerful, the riffs are amazing and the vocal works. After this follows a string lesser songs, but all of the songs has glimpses of glory..

 

The next songs that stood out are the last two, Hope to Die and K-141 Kursk. Both songs are catchy tunes, with great melodies.

 

My biggest issue with the Wolf that they tend to hide a few tracks in the middle of a record, that honestly should have been left off. The quality of the songwriting is just too inconsistent. When it works, it works great, especially the choruses are great.

I think this is a slightly weaker record than its predecessor, but it’s still a solid album, with great heavy, melodic metal.