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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Another Point Of View: Blackwolf (Review By Nick)

Blackwolf: Exchange, Bristol

Another hop across the bridge to the second home of the Musipedia, Bristol was calling again as Matt and I escaped the horrific fans and musical styling of One Direction to take in some real music. Arriving a little late (courtesy of an obligatory quick pint) we rocked up just in time to catch the main support of the evening Wreckage Of Society.

Wreckage Of Society

Quickly breaking out into their first track of a 30 minute set the Bristol based band set out their stall pretty early, presenting us with a unique brand of alternative ballad rock, filled with future anthem like lyrics. Unfortunately I couldn't tell you the song names from memory, however each song had a clear formula to them; ballad verse and an in your face hard rock chorus. This went down a treat for myself and from what I could see, the rest of the packed exchange too. The highlight of Wreckage Of Society for me were the vocals of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Luke Smith, melodically reminiscent of Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody but possibly a little cleaner and better. While in the bouncy chorus’s he really lets his deep voice free and hits every note with ease, impressive. The rest of the four piece were on their game too, lead guitarist Morgan Weeds matching Smiths rhythms and braking out melodic solos with great tenderness, led by the addictive bass lines laid out by Jim Matthews and topped off by hard hitting drums of Cameron Jarvis. Not too much else I can say here except, considering this was only their third gig as a band, it was pretty darn good. Catch these guy if you can, I'm looking forward to their EP! 7/10

Blackwolf

Now for the main event and something I had been looking forward to for a few weeks now. Having seen these guys a few times now, each time they seem to get better and never fail to impress. Hitting the stage to a great applause the Bristol favourites opened up with a bit of a curve ball, a track from their EP, Seeds. As expected the band ripped open the following silence with their instruments, playing them as hard and as loud as possible, filling the exchange with Blackwolf's patented hard-hitting bass led bouncy hard rock. Again my original draw to this band was always the vocals of Scott Sharp, wow what a voice this man has! However, he did put the frighteners into Matt and myself during opening track Seeds as he clearly struggled through, not hitting many high notes and at times his voice breaking even in the lower scales, with a quick look to each other, we decided that everybody gets one. Now, whether it was a case of first song warm up or the fact that Sharp simply hadn't played Seeds in a while I don’t know, but thankfully as the next few tracks kicked in, fan favourites Moving Mountains and Kiss The Fire his voice kicked right back in and damn did it sound good?! As Moving Mountains and Kiss The Fire were duly delivered flawlessly, both band and crowd jumped around the room to the bass filled grooves Ben Webb delivered throughout both tracks, while the riffs shot out by Jason Cronin and John Greenhill complemented the entire make up of the Blackwolf's sound, the set was flying through with smiles on fans faces clear to see. Next a new track from the album that the band is currently recording, sticking with the theme of fire, we were presented with Breathing Fire. Chocked full of bouncy rhythm guitar and groove-laden bass, while vocally a much quicker track for Sharp, which is new and something a little different for Blackwolf. However, what makes them so good remains; no compromise hard rock. If this is what we can expect from the next album… I can’t wait!

Back to the stuff the Blackwolf fans know and love for the next few tracks as the slower paced Sleepwalking was offered faultlessly followed by Steady Slow and Black Hole Friend, each song provided to the highest order and with the passion they deserve. Time for a taster of what is to come with another new track Grace. Similarly to Breathing Fire this was a little different to what we usually hear from the Bristol band, while at the same time not forgetting their style. Grace presented us with slower ballad like verses with a chorus that packed a punch like a mule, forcing the crowd to jump about aimlessly as they loved to do. Soon the set had to come to an all too soon end due to a following cub night. The band left the fans with what they came to see, classic unadulterated Blackwolf. Finishing off with anthems Moving On, Relief and Mr Maker both band and crowd were either hopping around or banging their heads to the riffs in-between supporting Sharp on the vocals. A well paced set with some new jewels slid in for good measure, Blackwolf truly are a live band that are not to be missed and hard to beat. Honest, fun and high quality hard rock how it should be… now messing round here, just quality music. I personally can’t wait to catch these guys again! 9/10.

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