Nightriders EP

Written by: AP on 22/10/2017 23:49:22

Wölfblood made heads turn with their début single, “Rot & Roll Inferno”, this past summer and then took the Danish metal scene by surprise when they released the “Nightriders" EP just three days later. Inspired as much by Motörhead as by d-beat hardcore in the vein of Discharge, the Copenhagen-based quartet is not the most usual type of metal band to emerge from this country, so more than anything, it was probably their freshness and energy that caught people’s ear and got some hype brewing around them. Certainly, the band is not proposing to revolutionise any genre, despite being so cheeky as to envision a new subgenre for themselves: ‘motorpunk’.

The band is helmed by vocalist Tiago Dias, whom most people involved in the Danish doom, sludge and stoner circles will recognise as the frontman of Cacus and Dreich (the latter of which is presently on a hiatus). As very much a believer in the D.I.Y. philosophy, his projects tend to be extremely active in the live circuit, but have thus far yielded little in the form of a recorded legacy — something that one fears might become the fate of Wölfblood as well. And if this is indeed the band’s future, it would be a shame, as out of all of Dias’ endeavours, Wölfblood seems to have the most potential for breaking onto the roster of a label like Southern Lord.

At four original tracks (none of which exceeds the 3-minute mark) and a cover of “Turn Your Head Around” by the NWOBHM cult band Tank, “Nightriders” is a short and direct affair, designed above all as a way of introducing Wölfblood to the world. And there is not a whole lot to analyse in it, with the songs all subscribing to the same formula of punk/metal’n’roll badassery, played at full throttle and laced with guitar solos. Being so formulaic, the EP does raise doubts about the longevity of the band’s ideas, which, if unaltered, are certain to render an eventual full-length quite the forgettable affair. Wölfblood does, however, contain a valuable asset in their guitarist, whose organic, freeform playing style rarely conforms to the idea of a ‘riff’ in the traditional sense. Like Martyrdöd’s Pontus Redig, it almost sounds like his parts were not so much written as conceived on the go, and as such it would be a surprise to me if Wölfblood’s songs always sounded the same when played live.

There is work to be done in terms of creating a memorable product thus, but provided there is a real ambition to transform Wölfblood into something else than a local basement punk band, there are elements here that, if properly harnessed, have serious potential. The rough singing employed by Dias for the aforementioned cover song (as opposed to the screaming style he otherwise uses), the myriad riffs and solos no doubt cooking up in the guitarist’s mind, and the rock’n’roll attitude packed into the music are all avenues that could lead to something bigger. For now, they’ve got a decent, if ultimately quite short-lived EP on the back of which to hone their showmanship.


Download: Rot & Roll, Serpent Queen
For the fans of: Discharge, Disfear, Motörhead, Wolfbrigade
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.08.2017

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