Running with the Hunted by Wolfbrigade

Release date: April 28, 2017
Label: Southern Lord Records

A new album from the crustpunk legends Wolfbrigade, well that is something I enjoy listening to. The group has been around for over two decades now (with some breaks here and there), but still a force to be reckoned with. Run With The Hunted is their latest act of war on the world. We are living in a fine time for some sound of discontent. This time and age definitely gives Wolfbrigade ample material to bring back the rage.

In this second of three releases the band is doing on Southern Lord as part of their deal, the group is going for a more melodic sound without losing any of their brutal force. Having recorded in Studio Fredman (well known for At The Gates and In Flames) and Sunlight Studio (famous for Entombed, Dismember and Grave). The result is a thick slab of melodic, grooving violence to rock out to. Wolfbrigade makes the soundtrack of a declining society into a party.

The first thing on your mind, when ‘Nomad Pack’ blasts from the speakers is to bang your head and get your neck nicely injured in the process. Nothing complex, no big entrance, just crank up the everything here. Catchy guitars and a drum beat that gets the right juices flowing. This all happens in fast and furious tracks, clocking a little over two minutes with catchy titles like ‘Warsaw Speedwolf’. Lyrics are spat out over a driven sound with a lot of venom.

So the record just pounds and smashes on in a state of constant electric tension. Some songs are frighteningly melodic though, like ‘Lucid Monomania’, which makes them a joy to listen to. It’s not the only track that goes down so smoothly, the same goes for the following tracks. They do have an uncanny velocity to them, but the flow of the track just feels like smooth sailing for the listener. By now the neck does start to ache a little, for movement is almost an involuntary act. After ‘Kallocain’, we get something with more of a bite again though.

‘Return to None’ has a proper build up and that threatening, looming vibe of a mosh almost erupting. The tension is held together, creating that anticipation for the total release with ragged short guitar riffs and crisp rhythms. Similarly ‘War On Rules’ starts with that same anticipation, but immediately let’s go of the torrent, this is one for a circle pit with a violent pace. The vocals are a steady shouty bark by Micke Dahl as a strict conductor for the violent messages. It’s a sort of center in the maelstrom of rabid rage that is Wolfbrigade. Exception is only when they mean to give you that cold glare, like on ‘Dead Cold’. That is when their fury feels controlled and measured, making them even more dangerous sounding.

That is pretty much the vibe of this album. A furious, scorching revolt against all that is the established world. Since we live in 2017, this is an anger we understand. This is the time of rage and for that Wolfbrigade is a suitable soundtrack.

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