Seasons of the Wolf must really be in this for the music because they’ve been together since 1988 and they have yet to make much of a dent on the international music scene. This is something that will hopefully change as more and more people check the band out. I have heard of the band over the past 2-3 years but I didn’t know much about them. So when guitarist Barry Waddell e-mailed me and wanted me to check out their latest release I was quite interested.
The album begins with what is easily the best song on here, “Lost In Hell.” As soon as I put on this CD for the first time I was saying, “who in the hell does that vocalist remind me of?” That question drove me crazy for about a week until a friend and me were listening to the CD and trying to decide whom the vocalist reminded us both of. Well it finally dawned on is…he sounds a helluva lot like David Wayne from Metal Church! This is noticeable on the higher singing parts. The chorus to “Lost In Hell” has some great vocal melody lines. As for the music itself, it’s hard to nail it down and say they are like one band or another. It’s clear they are METAL and to my ears they seem rooted in traditional metal from bands like Dio and Black Sabbath. The added keyboards in places give it a different feel, sometimes atmospheric. The song tempos are mid-paced and you will not find hyper speed double kicks, blasts or anything overly intense. What you will hear is solid heavy metal that is not a part of any of the current trends thus making this band stand out. In some of the review quotes in the band’s bio they have been called “power metal”, “prog metal” and “New Age Metal” (whatever that is?). I would disagree with all this, as it’s hardly power metal or prog metal. The band seem happy to go with the “Progressive, Gothic, New Age Metal” tag but to me that doesn’t mean a thing, sorry guys. It is only progressive in that it’s adventuresome. The melodies are fairly dark sounding so I guess that’s where the “gothic” tag comes from (and from the eerie keyboard track “A Face In The Mist”), yet it is melodic music. There is even a song that sounds kind of out there like it’s some kind of TV Show’s theme music. That song is called “Interstellar” – an appropriate name for sure. The vocal line on this one though is very catchy even if the song is not one of the album’s heavier moments. The chording in this song is also done differently and isn’t the “chugga chugga” style. Other songs on here that really grabbed my ear were “Abandoned City” and “S.O.S.” If I had to make some constructive criticism on this band it is that they need some faster songs…well I like faster songs anyway. Also the guitar rhythm tones could be made to sound more thicker/crunchy/abrasive instead of almost “classic rock” sounding. But this is just my personal tastes coming out, the band probably like their guitar sound just fine and they probably don’t want to play an overly fast song….but a couple on the album couldn’t hurt ya know??
It’s too bad I didn’t get to hear LOST IN HELL when it first came out in 1999, but better late then never! The band are currently working on their next album which is scheduled to come out later this summer / early fall. Until then if your ears are missing some classic sounding yet entirely fresh heavy metal check Seasons of the Wolf today at members.aol.com/SeasonsOfTheWolf/
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