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Album Review: Wolfbrigade – The Enemy: Reality

Discharge and Motörhead have much to answer for, but all for the right reasons. The Swedish wave of d-beat/crust punk bands like Disfear and Skitsystem took the best parts of both bands and injected their own filthy elements, and created an adrenaline-fueled blast of heavy, fast, punchy music that was both kickass and badass. The sound of the scene later evolved, adding in the death ‘n roll groove and swagger of mid-era Entombed, which just gave the overall cacophony a meaty backbone that gave no quarter. From this murky swamp crawled the beast known as Wolfbrigade (previously under the Wolfpack moniker), who took everything that came before and lifted it to a different level.

The Enemy: Reality is their 10th full-length record, a culmination of years of experience, and the confidence to show the world (or the underground at the very least) that they are the future of the most overlooked of sub-sub-sub genres. Coming in at just under half an hour, this is the Reign In Blood of d-beat, all mid-paced riffage (including some classy, emotional NWOBHM leads) dressed up in explosive aggression and ripping attitude, rounded up with that ballsy Swedish death metal production and bloodthirsty urgency.

Opening number ‘Sum Of All Vices’ is the perfect example of what is about to happen to your ears and fragile humanity. It races through the bloodstream like quick-acting amphetamine and hits even harder, slamming punk rock wrapped neatly in distorted headbangery that pushes its mud-stained boot down on your neck to let you know that this ain’t no walk in the park. From there, each successive song builds on the same framework but each with its own personality and intent. The listener is hit with slammers like ‘The Wolfman’ and ‘Hammer To The Skull’, but is also lead down into the tar pits that house the final three goosebumpy, epic tales that are ‘Wells Of Despair’, ‘Human Beast’ (soooo tasty), and ‘Hunt The Hunter’, all of which are bound in leather and ale-soaked battle jackets. The general theme of the album is the animal instinct housed in human beings, the lyrics stripping us as the audience down to our primal instincts and showing us that we are all the same beast that has to deal with the same challenges, not to mention the other animals in the zoo.

The production is clean enough to allow all the instruments and vocals to shine, with just enough grime and spit to hold its head high alongside its crust punk peers. The band itself, obviously well-versed in its craft, kick out the jams with ease and nut-crunching fury, and each member gives every last drop of barbarian juice in their respective tankard. This is music made by professionals but speaks to the folks on the street – punk with talent, for all intents and purposes.

For Wolfbrigade, this is yet another album in their sterling and untarnished discography, but it will certainly be an eye-opening experience for first-time listeners that haven’t delved into their jaw-dropping chaos before. And for a d-beat band in 2019, I cannot imagine anything more satisfying than unleashing the juggernaut that is The Enemy: Reality upon the uninitiated. It kicks ass, plain and simple.

RELEASE DATE: November 08, 2019


YOUTUBE LINK: (Official video for ‘The Wolfman’)

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