Seasons Of The Wolf - Last Act Of Defiance

Seasons Of The Wolf - Last Act Of Defiance

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(CD, Iron Shield Records, 2018)

I remember very well when I was first introduced to SEASONS OF THE WOLF; a friend suggested the band and the lead heavy and metallic sound struck me immediately. It didn't sound like anything else, and style-wise it was around between classic Heavy Metal and US Power. Wes E. Waddell’s nasal and squeaky voice just added to the unique factor and made SEASONS OF THE WOLF meaner and filthier than most any band in the genre.

Opening “Solar Flare” confirms all of the above; the drive in the riffs is fantastic and there's a lot of finesse in the musical delivery while it is still a very striking song. Raw riffs is another thing of the band's specialties and “Take Us To The Stars” proves this in a very good way. The technique and nature of the guitar arrangements are not far off from the old-school SAVATAGE, with a sound that makes early VOIVOD seem neat and tidy; it is brutal and fabulous.

There's no doubt about it, “Be Careful What You Wish” lands as one of my favorites from the “Last Act Of Defiance” record. First, I’m a sucker for long epic tracks and that's what we're talking about here. The different sections of the song flow effortlessly into each other and each delivers a unique feel. Also, the build-up is great and when the groove starts I'm sucked in right away. To top it off with another catchy chorus-line sets things over the top. SEASONS OF THE WOLF sure are a hidden gem in the US Metal scene. Lead heavy “Centuries Of Pain” is another favorite; the characteristics in the riffs hold the trademark SEASONS OF THE WOLF sound and when Skully hits those open chords every hair on my body stands straight up.

Up-tempo “Fools Gold” steps outside the general sound but for that sake is not bad and then, it becomes more of a standard Heavy Metal track, until the fateful keyboard comes in that is. There's always something, some little detail to push it outside of the box of standards with SEASONS OF THE WOLF. “Another Day” has the same atmospheric feel like the SAXON classic “The Eagle Has Landed”; amazing ambiance and fantastic vocal lines. This is definitely a song I would love to hear live. The title track which also closes the album is a very theatrical one; the moody but mellow intro creates a great contrast to the rather hysteric chorus-line. Wes is spitting out the words in a very raw way which I guess can be too much for some, but I think it fits here and I love it when there's mixed emotions in a song, especially since the flow is as good as it's here.

So, this “Last Act Of Defiance” is a release (finally) of older songs, never made available. Which of course is awesome for a fan like me. But from that era it is only Barry D. “Skully” Waddell in the lineup, so maybe it's not relevant to the band today. As cool as I think this is, as much I long for another real studio-album (so they get attention and gets to this side of the pond for some gigs) from SEASONS OF THE WOLF, a decade between the releases is just too much. But while waiting for that one, this will definitely do, a couple of years at least.

8/10 


Links:

www.SeasonsOfTheWolf.Com
www.MySpace.Com/SeasonsOfTheWolf
www.FaceBook.Com/SeasonsOfTheWolf


Tracklist:

01. Solar Flare
02. Desert Night Sky
03. Take Us To The Stars
04. Be Careful What You Wish
05. Centuries Of Pain
06. Drifter
07. Fools Gold
08. Another Day
09. Dark Stratosphere
10. No More Room In Hell
11. Last Act Of Defiance


Lineup:

Wes E. Waddell - Lead Vocals
Barry D. "Skully" Waddell - Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Dennis "Dr. Samurai" Ristow - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Bill Bois - Bass
Phaedra Rubio - Bass
Mark Empire - Drums
Wayne Hoefle - Drums