First of all, have a closer look at the band's to avoid doing the same […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
May 9, 2010
Wolfbane - Wolfbane album cover

First of all, have a closer look at the band's to avoid doing the same mistake with me; yep, this in not a rare WOLFSBANE album that -shame on you if you don't know it- was fronted by Blaze Bayley. Well, this CD contains the re-mastered edition of the British band's only cassette releases "Demo" (if this can be a title) and "Bethany's Sin" from 1981 and 1982, respectively. Back in those days the bands were more into playing live and less into record releasing that was a bonus and a real pain in the ass to achieve. Maybe this is why those bands sounded more honest and more alive as compared to the majority of the new acts. Nevertheless, Shadow Kingdom Records decided to dig out this NWOBHM gem, polish it a little and put it in a nice CD with a real old-school artwork.

Don't expect crystal clear production or vocals that follow the music notes by the book. But, do expect a hearty vintage sound that breathes the 80s air we all miss nowadays. The first three tracks belong to the NWOBHM brand and will remind you bands like ANGELWITCH or HOLOCAUST with balanced distortion in the guitar and melodic riffs that will take you down to memory lane. The British accent is simply the icing on the cake while the distinct presence of the bass guitar combined to the almost galloping rhythm will remind the early (and forgotten by many) days of IRON MAIDEN. Just listen to rhythm section during the solo of the opening track and you will immediately get my point. The lyrics are kept simple and do handle "daily" issues like werewolves, serial killers and other cool and definitely Metal subjects.

The tracks from "Bethany's Sin" release reveal the melodic side of WOLFBANE adding several Hard Rock layer in the music keeping the 4/4 tempo we all like to move our heads against or tap our foot when drinking beer. "Elric Of Melnibone" is a killer rocker talking about Moorcock's antihero that has made several appearances in many Metal albums and songs. The echo effects and the excellent groove in "The Howling hides some early BLACK SABBATH influences and reveal some minor psychedelic finishing touches from the 70s that fit the music like a glove. But this gem-sounding CD closes with the excellent MAIDEN-esque song entitled "Midnight Lady" and hit hard with double guitar harmonies and -of course- the trademark galloping rhythm.

I really don't need to add something more here; this is -as I already said- a hidden gem that is waiting for you to discover it. It is nice to have new bands playing NWOBHM but it is even better to discover old bands who knew what they were doing! This is a must-buy situation!

8 / 10


"Wolfbane" Track-listing:
  1. Wolfbane
  2. Leave Me
  3. See You In Hell
  4. Elric Of Melnibone
  5. The Howling
  6. Midnight Lady
Wolfbane Lineup:

Demo (1981)
Gramie Dee - Guitar/Vocals
Dale Lee - Bass
Syd Mercury - Drums

"Bethany's Sin" (1982)
Gramie Dee - Guitar/Vocals
Dale Lee - Bass
Sid Oxton - Drums

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