ALBUM REVIEW: Bad Wolves – N.A.T.I.O.N.

Release Date: October 25th 2019
Label: Eleven Seven Music


American heavy metal supergroup Bad Wolves are back, and swiftly following in the footsteps of last year’s ‘Disobey’ with their second full-length record, ‘N.A.T.I.O.N.’.

Single and opening track ‘I’ll Be There’ kicks in with this immediate sense of urgency that grips you from the get-go, with its raucous instrumentals and escalating vocals coming together to create this dynamic power duo, full of head-banging melodic heaviness.

On the subject of singles, ‘Killing Me Slowly’ switches up the mood of the record. Bringing an electronic meets ballad track to the proceedings, its commercially appealing narrative of clinging onto the last remnants of a relationship, despite the personal need to pull the plug on the situation, are conveyed by lead singer Tommy Vext in a way that is bursting full of burning passion and intensity.

Another ballad comes in the form of ‘Sober’, this time tackling themes close to Vext from recovery to addiction. The song sends out this poignant subject matter that showcases a slower and more melencholy side to Bad Wolves.

‘Learn To Walk Again’ takes major inspiration from fellow heavy metallers Five Finger Death Punch, which, characterised by cutting instrumentation and a colossal chorus delivery from all sees it out to be a stellar song. ‘Foe Or Friend’ adds a level of anger to ‘N.A.T.I.O.N.’. Anthemic by all accounts, its vocal chants and powerful percussive drive blend to bring this stadium rock/metal worthy song to the record, whereas later cut ‘The Consumerist’ lets the singing shine in all its ferocious forms. From high pitched screams to low throaty growls, this track Vext‘s for the taking

Ending on the experimental ‘LA Song’, the track takes a sound that simply cannot be placed into one box. Taking influence from grunge to rap and back to metal and rock again, it explores vastly different instrumental and lyrical territory. Along the line of lyrics, does exactly what it says on the tin, throwing in some cultural references to a certain Californian city and neighbourhood which are both synonymous to the band’s origins.

Daring to venture in all manner of different directions, ‘N.A.T.I.O.N.’ retains Bad Wolves‘ metal roots firmly with its robust riffs and screamed vocals, whilst letting the colossal and anthemic aspects of hard rock bleed into their soundscape in all the right ways.

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