||STEVE GÖLDBY'S METAL CHRONICLES
Camden Underworld, London
Sunday 8th February 2015
It's the last night of Wolf's fourteen date, five country 'Devil Seed' tour to promote their latest album of the same name and by all accounts, the whole adventure has been a rousing success.
Hailing from Örebro in Sweden, 'Devil Seed' is Wolf's seventh studio album since they formed in 1995 and it's their first time in London since they supported Accept at The Garage a couple of years ago, a performance that left nobody there in any doubt that this four-piece really are the real deal.
Strong songs performed heroically is the order of the day here and Wolf are truly carrying the flag for modern traditional Heavy Metal.
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Support tonight was from Brit based Metallers Primitai who opened their set with the relentless 'Fortune Favours The Brave' from their last album 'Rise Again' and followed it up with 'Line Of Fire' and 'Sin City', all driven by the locomotive drumming of Chris Chilcott.
The twin lead guitars of Srdjan Bilic and Sergio Pedro Girón took it in turns to provide flamboyant riffs and lead breaks that mesmerised the crowd.
'Degeneration' was introduced by the bass of Jamie Lordcastle and featured an extended solo by Srdjan Bilic culminating in him being elevated up and supported by the knees of his fellow guitarists.
Of course none of this would be quite the same without the vocals of Guy Miller who really showed off his melodic abilities when the set closed with 'Scream When You See Us'.
Set highlights included the anthem 'The Cannibal' and all in all, Primitai put on a class performance and deserve to go far.
Anticipation was growing steadily as the crowd prepared for the headliners to make their entrance and when intro 'Overture in C Shark' blared out of the PA system, Wolf were left in no doubt that they were up before a London crowd whose support was loyal and true.
'Shart Attack' is indeed a warning... a warning that the forces of Heavy Metal, true and pure, are about to be unleashed with full force and that's pretty much exactly what happened in The Underworld on Sunday night.
Wolf truly mean business and with just four songs, including the intro, gleaned from 'Devil Seed', we got a pretty good career retrospective here tonight with the highlight for me personally being the classy singalong 'Hail Caesar'.
The boys have been ill on tour but it didn't stop them putting on a thoroughly energetic performance that was impressive, bombastic and as hard as Hell.
Other set highlights included the Jurassic-era Maiden-esque 'Night Stalker', 'Voodoo' with it's twin guitar harmonies, 'Skull Crusher, the top song on 2011s 'Legions Of Bastards' album and 'Venom' from 2002s 'Black Wings' album.
But really, every one of the eighteen numbers the band pumped out was a triumph and although their influences are obvious (Priest, Maiden, Diamond Head) they have their own distinctive air about them and absolutely owned the stage tonight.
Two big highlights of the evening were when frontman Niklas Stålvind hailed drummer Richard Holmgren for completing the tour, despite having a kidney stone removed beforehand. What a warrior!
Bassist Anders Modd joined the crowd late on and posed for pictures with the audience while never dropping a note and Nik also gave an emotionally charged tribute to a friend who had recently died from cancer and dedicated final song 'Speed On' to him.
The band members were amongst the now departing audience literally minutes after they had completed their set and seemed bemused as security attempted to hustle them out of the venue. That's England for you fellas...
I think we should be trying to hustle Wolf into more English venues as they provide a thoroughly entertaining evening of proper Metal, played well and delivered with conviction. All Hail indeed...
Overture in C Shark
I Will Kill Again
Full Moon Possession
Niklas "Viper" Stålvind (vocals/guitars)
Anders "Tornado" Modd (bass)
Richard "Raptor" Holmgren (drums/vocals)
Simon "Demon" Johansson (guitars)
Confirmed tour dates:
March 8 Kyttapo Live Club, Athens, Greece
March 28 Katalin, Uppsala, Sweden
April 10 The Tivoli, Cloudscape, Helsingborg, Sweden
May 8 Metalheadz Open Air Oberndorf, Germany
June 3 Sweden Rock Festival, Solvesborg, Sweden
July 3 Hard Rock Laager, Vana-Vigala, Estonia
July 18 XIV Skulls Of Metal Las Escuelas, Spain
August 9 Bloodstock Open Air Derbyshire, United Kingdom
Photos by Sean Cameron
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