Wervolf/Retaliation (United States Of America) – Black Metal Warriors

This split between two of Frost Ruebenstahl’s projects is yet another entry into Wervolf’s brief yet full catalog of releases. On the other side is Retaliation, a black/punk project that features the aforementioned Frost as well as Lord Bölverkr, making its second release after a fairly unknown demo dating back to 2005. At just over ten minutes long, this little CDr split serves as yet another quality piece of music from Wervolf as well as a good (re)introduction of Retaliation to the scene. While this isn’t exactly an essential release, it is quite pleasing for what it is, and shows a maturity in songwriting that belies the as-usual minimalist aesthetics.

Wervolf’s two track side begins with a typical song from the band in the form of the title entry. ‘Black Metal Warriors’ is pure Wervolf: venomous vocals over melodic, ’80s influenced black/heavy metal guitar composed of tremolo picked, thrashy riffing under a perpetual, piercing lead and speedy programmed drums. Even as an average Wervolf song, it’s excellent, with a sub-two minute running time getting the point across effectively and concisely. The other half of Wervolf’s side comes in the form of ‘Sad Black Skies’, a slow, epic, melodic black metal instrumental, reminding one of later Bathory with its slow unfolding of repetitive riffing. While it is an atypical sound in tempo for Wervolf, it works very well in the overall context of the release, working as a refreshing reprieve from the otherwise high-speed nature of the disc.

Retaliation, in essence, sounds almost exactly like Wervolf with a great deal of punk influence. This side blitzes through three tracks with as many chords, wasting no time at all. Punky riffs with Wervolf’s style of epic, melodic lead work might seem strange conceptually, but it actually works well within the context of the music here, almost reminding one of a less dark Impaled Nazarene or a similar artist. It’s a simpler, more direct style of metal than Wervolf, despite the large similarity between the two artists, and it’s in some ways more aggressive and modern as well. No song on Retaliation’s side reaches the two minute mark, and each of the three tracks manages to pack in all sorts of thrashing madness despite their brevity. It’s good stuff, if extremely straightforward and monodimensional.

While the material here is concise and not at all unlike what you would expect from Ruebenstahl, it’s good music that’s worth the time of any Wervolf fan old or new. Fans of that band will easily enjoy Retaliation as well, making all the material on this CDr worth acquiring for fans of the style. All six of you that are great fans of Wervolf already have this, but those who haven’t heard either band should get it as well, as you’ll surely be surprised by just how good it manages to be.

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~ by noktorn on December 4, 2007.

One Response to “Wervolf/Retaliation (United States Of America) – Black Metal Warriors”

  1. hahaha all 6 of them….priceless.

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