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In the year and a half since their debut album Disobey, Bad Wolves have enjoyed a very well-deserved rise to prominence in the metal scene today.  Buoyed by the massive success of their Cranberries cover,  “Zombie”, along with their incessant  touring, their mark has been made.  Their sophomore album N.A.T.I.O.N. set to be released this week, will attempt to keep this quintet firmly atop the heap of all-things metal. 

The album’s opener, “I’ll be There”,  erupts with a big, rapid fire guitar/drum intro giving way to a powerful anger-filled riff that you simply cannot deny.  The vocals of Tommy Vext begin aggressively and lead into the accessible high-flying chorus we’ve grown to recognize in metal these days.  The next two songs “No Messiah” and “Learn to Walk” continue in this vein and yet with different approaches.  “Learn to Walk” could be the record's most far reaching song in that its chorus is a nod to early rock anthems.  Very straight forward and appealing.  “No Messiah” is a slow, plodding and ultimately devastating song.  It comes complete with throat-ripping screams, paint-peeling guitars, which all give way to another soaring chorus. 

Next up is “Better off this Way” and this is where this album begins to spread it’s wings.   It's a haunting acoustic number that brings the vocals to the forefront, giving way to another cerebral chorus conveying pain and loss.  Just as they finish presenting this intriguing tune to capture and reel you in, the band unloads on you with the immensely powerful juggernaut,  “Foe or Friend”.  With a Marilyn Manson flavor in the chorus, the verses carry a satisfyingly angry vocal rage set to a powerful rock/rap style here.  This song will no doubt be a jump starter for pits during their shows.  Well done here.

Perhaps though, the highlights of the album lie in two songs nestled among all this experimental goodness.  “The Consumerist” begins angry whilst again giving way to the carefully constructed choruses shedding light on the epidemic of blind spending/materialism so rampant today.  The other is the pleasant sounding “Sober” which again showcases engaging vocals in an upbeat acoustic way.  Extremely different and catchy, this song almost feels like a theme song for a TV show.  Nonetheless you will appreciate the song and where it fits within the spectrum of this record overall.     

This band’s second album is quite good overall.  They’ve taken what they built on their last album and expanded themselves this time out.  This record will make you think, appreciate the musical variety displayed, and ultimately kick your ass.  There’s something for everyone here for sure.  But, before you jump into this record, I’ll need to warn you about something first.  This album is fierce and will surely test the limits of your car stereo’s bottom end or the range of your earbuds.  Please make sure these are in working order before attempting to play this album (and don't say I didn't warn you!). 

Bad Wolves will be touring all winter in the U.S. with Five Finger Death Punch. Go check them out as they roll through your town. This band is going places and I'm sure their live set will take it to a whole new level!


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.4 out of 10

Artist:  Bad Wolves LPN.A.T.I.O.N.  Release Date: Oct 25th., 2019, Label:  Eleven Seven Music


John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

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