Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Wolf Council - S/T (Album Review)

Victims Of The Sea cover art

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2015
Label: Static Tension

The Wolf Council’ Track Listing
  • Plans For The Sky
  • Send Help For The Rest
  • Waves
  • Victims of the Sea
  • All That Was Yours
  • The Day I Cleared The Debt
  • Loading The Guns
  • Just One Push
  • Floor
  • No Reason
The Wolf Council Is:

Jeff Paske – Drums
Steve Williams – Guitar/Vocals
Steve Post – Bass/Vocals


The Wolf Council list their genre on social media as simply ‘Kick Ass’. Another, lesser outfit wouldn’t be able to live up to such self-aggrandisement, but for the Minnesotan trio it fits the bill. What we have here are 10 tracks of sludgy, stripped down metal that have an undeniable and sustained air of ‘cool’ surrounding them.

Opener ‘Plans For The Sky’ sets the scene perfectly, a rolling, 70’s infused doomy riff, backed by Jeff Paske’s clattering drums. The guitar has a satisfying bite to it, and Steve Williams vocals are gruff and burly enough to compete with the sludgy weight. A series of bass runs and instruments dropping in and out have them sounding like a grittier, more bombastic Dozer.

Send Help For The Rest’ is a touch more immediate, all triumphant, colossal drums and deep, locked in grooves. Williams's vocals are commanding, and the tempo is infectious. ‘Waves’ is centred around a throaty, muscular bass riff and sounds absolutely massive. Something one quickly notices is just how sharp the production on the record is, everything is more or less perfectly balanced, there’s no undue prominence given to guitars, drums or vocals.

Victims’ is a bit more stately and doomy in terms of pace, with mirrored guitar and basslines before the guitar solo coils slowly above the rest of the instrumentation. ‘All That Was Yours’ starts off a little bit Metallica, staccato palm muted stabs and semi-whispered vocals, which progresses and morphs into a driving riff and some well executed more melodic singing.

The riff worshipping continues, with ‘The Day I Cleared The Debt’ and its sub-thrash tempo progressing into a dizzying wah infused bass solo. Post definitely has his instrument make its mark on the album, elevating it above simply playing chord structures or driving riffs, with subtle flourishes making as much impact as overt soloing.

There’s nothing outright wrong with the remaining album tracks, ‘Just One Push’ and ‘No Reason’ are still enjoyable exercises in riff worshipping, and just as valid as the previous. There is a sense, though, that perhaps ten tracks is a little too many, that although the Council’s brand of metal is infinitely listenable, this album is better off tackled in smaller doses in order for it to have its full effectiveness.

For those who are immune to this ‘riff fatigue’, and for anyone lucky enough to come across this record, you’ll find a badass, riff-filled experience that is the perfect soundtrack to any activity, from ripping down the highway to navigating your commute to work. Class.

Words by: Jay Hampshire 

The Wolf Council S/T album is available to buy from Static Tension now.

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