Sweden’s Wolfbrigade have been around in one guise or another (formerly Wolfpack) since 1995 – the changing lineup finally unleashing a new full length with Damned, their first in four long years. Seen as pioneers of the Swedish crust/d-beat scene, Wolfbrigade play an unrelenting form of metal tinged hardcore-esque punk that never seems to stop, leaving you quite breathless. Somehow crow barring twelve tracks into a scant thirty-five minute run time, Wolfbrigade decimate with pure fury and ferocious statements of intent. All super quick beats and wailing guitar, Damned pummels from the outset with technical prowess and harshly growled vocals via the ravaged throat of Micke. The instantly recognizable drum crashes of the d-beat school of pounding are absolutely vicious – constantly hammering their course and working through the punky riffs and fevered shouts found on tracks such as “On Your Knees….In Misery” and “Slaves of Induction.”
“Ride The Steel” immediately stands out due to its contradictory tone. Beginning slowly and brooding over a lightly struck progression of notes, the sound of wind howls behind creating an atmosphere quite unlike anything else on Damned. The break comes with lightning quick blasts of drum over distinctly death-metal laced guitar passages and as this record was produced by a man (Frederik Nordstrom) who had a hand in At The Gates releases, the individual lines are wrought for all they are worth and the metallic nature of the music breathes heavily through the crust-laden vocals.
Damned is a record savage in nature. The spite bursts forth in the constantly moving guitar leads, changing up from edgy punk riffs to gorgeously heavy soaring lines – particularly in “From Beyond” – with nary a hint of warning making this album incredibly appealing to those who are looking for something with that little bit extra. Damned just does not stop. Take a moment to hear it. And then another to recover.
8.0 / 10
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