If you think Rock N’ Roll is dead, think again. At least in the United Kingdom it is not only alive, but also stronger than ever.
Do you know that sad and annoying feeling when the specialized media insists on saying that Rock N’ Roll is dead, which gets even worse when we turn on the radio and realize the great majority of bands being played in Rock N’ Roll stations are too pop or commercial, not depicting at all the true essence of rock music? Well, if you’ve been suffering from that horrible “illness” lately and don’t know what to do, I have the perfect “remedy” for you: The Hunt, the awesome new album by British Hard Rock band BlackWolf.
It’s simply amazing how many excellent bands and albums are coming from the UK in the past few months, which is also true for this Bristol-based “Soulful Hard Rock N’ Roll” band as they like to call themselves. Mixing some great elements from classic bands such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, with a more contemporary sonority from Airbourne and Avenged Sevenfold, they were able to create “music from the 70’s” without sounding outdated or nostalgic, all thanks to the professionalism and creativity from all band members.
Their influence from the 70’s/80’s Hard Rock is evident from the very first notes of Mr. Maker, a song that could have been easily recorded by a band like Velvet Revolver, with highlights to its strong vocal work, or in the brilliant Keep Moving On, a song that was born to be a Rock N’ Roll radio hit due to its catchy chorus (you’ll start singing it without even noticing), lots of feeling and an excellent guitar solo. The groovy Moving Mountains, with its old school Black Sabbath riffs and an excellent work done by bassist Ben Webb and drummer Tom Lennox-Brown, will just make you more addicted to this album without any doubt and eager for what’s next.
And what comes after that is, of course, also very pleasant: Faith In Me is a kind of ballad with many elements used by bands like Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with singer Scott Sharp elevating the overall quality of the song with a great performance, while the fast and heavy Trouble, which is absolutely perfect for a road trip, presents a band entirely on fire. Moreover, it’s quite impossible not to get pumped up with this song and its awesome guitar solo. Things slow down a little with Only Said In Silence, a semi-acoustic ballad showcasing a more modern Hard Rock (with another powerful guitar solo by the end of it), but the band quickly gets back in full force with House of Emerald Wine, another memorable tune with an outstanding touch of Blues Rock added to it.
If after all that awesomeness you still agree with the “specialists” that say Rock N’ Roll is dead, simply listen to Raised On the Sun and you’ll change your mind. this song is classic Stoner Rock at its best, with vocalist Scott Sharp killing it once again. Or maybe you should take a listen at the fast beats and awesome riffs from Black Hole Friend, another above-average Hard Rock track? But wait, there’s still more Rock N’ Roll to come with the very traditional approach and lots of feeling found in Dragging Ghosts and Relief, the latter being a very good proof that this band never gets tired of playing true rock music.
There are two more songs to go in The Hunt, the first called Sleepwalking, a ballad that will please most fans of that pure classic Rock N’ Roll, and Sea of Mercy, a high-end track that sounds more like a tribute to the 70’s than just a regular song. Besides that, the nice album art also seems totally inspired by some of the old Black Sabbath albums, such as the classic Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
In short, all I can say about this album is that if BlackWolf were born let’s say about 30 or 40 years ago, they would be for sure one of the greatest Rock N’ Roll bands of all time, a reference in traditional Hard Rock, and we would see lots of grown-ups and kids wearing their T-shirts on the streets today. And if you got excited with this review and, more important than that, with BlackWolf’s thrilling and passionate music, you can purchase The Hunt as a shrink-wrapped 4 panel Digipack packaging with CD or as a digital copy on iTunes. It’s because of bands like BlackWolf that we can joyfully ignore the media and rest assured Rock N’ Roll will never die.
Best moments of the album: Keep Moving On, Trouble and House of Emerald Wine.
Worst moments of the album: Only Said In Silence and Dragging Ghosts.
Released in 2014 Independent
1. Mr. Maker 4:00
2. Keep Moving On 4:10
3. Moving Mountains 3:28
4. Faith In Me 4:35
5. Trouble 3:16
6. Only Said In Silence 4:40
7. House of Emerald Wine 3:28
8. Raised On the Sun 4:48
9. Black Hole Friend 3:22
10. Dragging Ghosts 4:47
11. Relief 4:05
12. Sleepwalking 4:10
13. Sea of Mercy 4:50
Scott Sharp – vocals
John Greenhill – guitars
Jason Cronin – guitars
Ben Webb – bass
Tom Lennox-Brown – drums