Sweden’s Wolfbrigade have been kicking around since 1995, starting out under the name Wolfpack and changing their name around the turn of the century before splitting in 2004. The band returned to action in 2007, releasing two albums in quick succession. Their first album in four years, “Damned” sees the band still raging with their potent mix of death metal and crust punk but this outing sees a little more focus on the songs than before.
The album immediately draws you in with opening track ‘Feed the Flames’, which begins on a drum roll before singer Micke kicks in with his spewed-up vocal roar that sits somewhere between punk rock bellow and death metal growl.
The first couple of tracks play out the same way with a short, sharp shock tactic of hitting you around the head for a couple of minutes before ‘Road of Dreams’ starts up and gives you the albums second longest track at just over the four-minute mark. Closely resembling grind legends Extreme Noise Terror the track just pounds away mercilessly for its running time before slotting into the more thrash metal oriented ‘The Curse of Cain’, which stands as one of the albums highlights, featuring snaking guitar leads and a Sepultura-esque breakdown.
The other notable standout track is the more intricate ‘Ride the Steel’, which begins with a delicately picked intro before bursting into Slayer-like thrash and shredding leads before breaking itself down into a mid-paced fade-out. Still heavy, but with a bit more depth.
As an overall comment, it could be said that this album would make a superb companion piece to Black Breath’s latest album “Sentenced To Life” – both are brutal, furiously played and razor-sharp without any fat on it at all. The album’s twelve tracks whizz past in a blur of hardcore aggression and death metal dynamics that threaten to take your head off, yet the songwriting is so streamlined and direct that every song sounds fresh. Chalk another one up for those Swedes!