By Albert Mansour
Shadow Kingdom Records is like the Energizer Bunny. It keeps going and going and going with great releases one after another. One of their newest gems is this compilation by Wolfbane. Not to be mistaken with Wolfsbane, the band that birthed the career of ex-Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley, Wolfbane were a trio that was active between 1980 – 1984. Their sound was a blending of Sabbath-like riffs with up-tempo hard rock, creating a blend of pioneering early metal that is now known better as NWOBHM. The first three tracks on here come from their 1981 demo tape and the remaining tracks are from their Bethany’s Sin 1982 demo tape. Starting off this six-pack album with their track titled “Wolfbane”, the song opens with a speech intro before continuing into a riff and solo that takes strokes from Angelwitch’s self- titled album, a personal favourite of mine. “Leave Me” is a another very heavy track with a great superb riff. “See You In Hell”, though clocking in at just over nine minutes, is surely one of the best tunes offered here. “Elric Of Melniböne” is another outstanding song; you can totally see how the speedy riffs would inspire this band. “The Howling” and “Midnight Lady” have a similar feel to each other, along the same lines as Chateaux’s 1983 LP Chained And Desperate. This compilation is just an excellent demonstration of speed, melody, aggressiveness and raw power. It basically offers up everything a that a good metal album should have. Those seeking to expand their NWOBHM collection should check this out, Wolfbane is highly recommended to those into Witchfinder General, Angelwitch, Quartz and early Black Sabbath. Really good stuff.
(Shadow Kingdom Records)