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Released: 2011, Independent
Recently (Summer of 2014, as of time of writing) I was reading the Metal news and I read that FireWolfe just got signed to Limb Records. Since Limb is one of my favourite record labels of all time, I was immediately very curious about this band Firewolfe that I had never heard of before. A little research and I was very pleased to learn that FireWolfe has some bigger name Metal guys in the band and that they had an independent debut. I dropped by their website and a few clicks of the mouse later my physical copy of the self-titled debut Firewolfe album was on it’s way to my mailbox. Gotta support the underground!
I can see why Limb signed these guys to a worldwide deal. FireWolfe are fantastic! It’s understandable, as FireWolfe is fronted by David Fefolt (Fifth Angel, Hawk, Masi, Angels of Babylon). He has a great voice and I have enjoyed his work from way back in the 80’s when I bought to the debut Hawk cassette, after seeing an ad for it in Hit Parader. Somewhat to my surprise (and delight) Jay Schellen is on the drums and I’ve always liked his work from way back in the Hurricane days. The band, I believe, is spearheaded by Nick Layton, who lists his influences as Criss Oliva and Malmsteen, so our hearts are in the same place!
The CD itself is a pretty standard presentation for an independent release, it has a simple cover, with a few page black and white booklet with lyrics and not much more. Inside are 10 tracks of high-calibre, classic Metal. David voice is timeless as he delivers the lyrics with power and conviction with just the right amount of grit. Schellen holds down the drumming admirably as he could play this type of stuff in his sleep. He doesn’t overplay or underplay it, just driving songs along very well. The pace is mid-paced and anthemic for the most part, even with a hint of 80’s flair. Layton has many great riffs and some excellent soloing. The songs are pretty simple in construction, letting the great riffs do the heavy lifting.
Lyrically there are some goods cuts like ‘M.O.D.’ (Metal Or Die) which provide some inspirational advice to, ‘Rock Until You’re Dead’ which is good advice as I have always tried to live my life with such a well-defined, articulate philosophy! It’s worked for me so far! Another good cut about ‘rocking out’ is the powerful album closer, ‘Feel The Thunder’ with some very strong soloing. Elsewhere, the lyrics on ‘Back From Hell’ are very heartfelt and personal, a story of a relationship that went wrong. Those types of songs with that lyrical theme are universal, very common even, but the lyrics were especially well done I thought. ‘Back From Hell’ is actually my favourite track on the album with various tempo changes and a strong chorus.
I am extremely impressed by the debut FireWolfe album. This is a real gem and I hope more people get to discover this awesome band. Don't be surprised to see and hear more of them as their new album (as of time of writing) WE RULE THE NIGHT is slated for a September 2014 release. Until then, take my advice and grab the debut!
1. Air Attack
4. Armed Forces
5. Back from Hell
6. Wicked Words
7. Ice Wizard
10. Feel the Thunder
David Fefolt Vocals
Nick Layton Guitar
Paul Kleff Guitar
Zack Uidl Bass
Jay Schellen Drums
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