The Cult of the Wolf


A definitive Brazilian Old School Heavy Metal band with a groudbreaking album. The Wolves are howling again!
November 20, 2023

The Brazilian Metal scene has different ways, but only one feature that’s common for any Metal genre: the natural groove (called by many as ‘swing’), because in Brazil, everyone grows in a musical culture of many genres, and even when one becomes a Metalhead, this cultural background can’t be torn apart (there are those who try, but things sound artificial in these cases). This is why the work of the quintet NIGHTWÖLF (hailing from the capital of the country, Brasília) can sound a bit different for the fans on “The Cult of the Wolf”. They’re a Heavy Metal act with influences from the 80s. It means that one can feel the scent of JUDAS PRIEST in some points (especially due the excellent work of the guitars, as can be heard on “Glory or Death”), ACCEPT on others, NWOBHM in many moments, some traces of US Metal and Power Metal from USA of the 80s (pay attention to the melodic lines of “The Cult of the Wolf” to check such aspect), but always under an ‘updated’ form due the life and energy that is presented by the band.

But there, in the ‘inner sanctum’ of the band’s music (what is called personality), one can feel the difference between a band that copies, and a band that shows a personal contribution. Yes, the music of the band is rich, sounds alive and with a mastodonic weight, but always adorned with melodies that are hard to resist. It’s not s sin to say that they’re in a way that “British Steel”, “Screamin’ for Vengeance”, “Balls to the Wall” or another one of these would sound if they were released today. But once more: the quintet shows personality on what it does, it’s not a copy. “The Cult of the Wolf” was recorded during the months of June and July by the band, Arthur D. (who did the mixing and the mastering as well) and Nyx at Hangar 408 Studio. And it depicts the difference between them and many other Old School Heavy Metal bands: they try to have an organic and simple approach on sonority (as it’s usual for Old School Metal acts), but talking advantage of modern technologies. It sounds as few (or none) digital edition was used (what is a guarantee of the organic nature of their music), so it’s thunderous and heavy as Hell, but defined and clean in a way that anyone can understand. And the artwork of Bebeto Daroz is really amazing!

Musically, “Cult of the Wolf” is many steps ahead of their previous release (the excellent EP “Unleash the Beast”, released on 2022), as they matured a lot in every aspect (but always keeping the personality untouched) and allows the fans to have a deeper and better idea of what the quintet is up to. After the climatic intro “Lvpvs Cvltvs” comes “Glory or Death”, a thunderous song with a NWOBHM ambience, excellent arrangements, sharp guitar riffs and melodic solos and a charming chorus. It is followed by “Kill the Light”, where tempos are a bit slower than on the previous song, mixing influences from German Heavy Metal and US Metal, again with catching melodies, but here conducted by heavy rhythmic arrangements of bass guitar and drums.

As a title track, “The Cult of the Wolf” carries a lot of responsibility, but it’s worthy of it, as one can see that after the Flamenco clean guitars arrangements on the beginning, one can feel that weight of the slow tempos (in a sense similar to what MANOWAR did on its early releases), enabling the vocals to show its expressivity and an ample set of tunes (with excellent screams in a ‘halfordian’ way, showing a great evolution since the band’s EP). Using a more modern Heavy Metal outfit (what means that some Thrash Metal elements are used on the mix), “Under the Sky” is a storm of weight and excellent arrangements (what thunderous chorus and strategic vocals and backing vocals contrasts).

On “Reign in Metal”, the band fuses NWOBHM and US Metal influences once more, with slow rhythms and many melodic hooks set to catch the hearers’ attention (especially on the guitar duets and chorus), and it’s impossible to resist and not bang the heads on it. “Do and Die” is another moment with clear and abrasive insight, with aggressiveness flowing free from the speakers, with riffs as arrows and lances falling into the ears, and aggressive and fluid vocals working a great way. “The Riddle of Steel” (as anyone can see, the title is clear a reference to the 1982’s film of Conan, “Conan the Barbarian”) again lays on the formula of not extreme fast tempos with massive weight (with a very good level of technique of bass guitar and drums) entangling with melodic arrangements that hooks the hearers. And “God of Iron” has a more dynamic set of rhythms that allows the guitars to express with weight great melodies. And closing the album with the golden key comes “Falling from Grace”, a song with a more melodic appeal (based on US Metal acts of the 80s), but with clear mix between melodies, weight and aggressiveness.

It’s clear that if they had their due chance (and no prostitution into the backstage scenes of Metal happens, don’t try to deny their existence, please), NIGHTWÖLF will be one of the next great names in the Brazilian Metal scene. “The Cult of the Wolf” shows such thing clearly. If you have any doubts, spin it and check things as you want (but beware, because this album is truly addictive):

10 / 10









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"The Cult of the Wolf" Track-listing:
  1. Lvpvs Cvltvs (intro)
  2. Glory or Death
  3. Kill the Light
  4. The Cult of the Wolf
  5. Under the Sky
  6. Reign in Metal
  7. Do and Die
  8. The Riddle of Steel
  9. God of Iron
  10. Falling from Grace
Nightwölf Lineup:

Jack Znake - Vocals
Adan Hessen - Guitars
Rafael Roan - Guitars
Guilherme de Almeida - Bass, Vocals on “Lvpvs Cvltvs”
João Videira - Drums

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