Wolfpakk are a band that I have been thankful to discover through my Decibel Geek connections and have reviewed their 2013 released Cry Wolf album here: Attack Of The Wolfpakk. As you can read through that review, I quite enjoyed the album. And it enticed me to add their self-titled debut to my collection as well. So when I got wind that the dynamic duo (ok I think I’m the only one to call them that) of Sweeny and Voss were working on a follow up I paid attention.
Wolfpakk is the brainchild of Mark Sweeny (hailing from Swiss hard rock outfit Crystal Ball) and Michael Voss (taking a break from Christian Metal group Mad Max and Casanova, both German bands), the aforementioned dynamic duo. Back in 2011 the two musicians had worked together for some time in the past. Always bantering around the ideas of collaborating on a heavy metal album. They had grandiose plans, deeming that the record should include the participation of the best artists of the genre. And as with the previous two efforts they succeeded in gathering an impressive list of guests once again for Rise Of The Animal. Here is the comprehensive list of guest musicians appearing on Rise Of The Animal: Guest Musicians on Rise Of The Animal
WOLFPAKK – Rise of the Animal
When Rise of the Animal arrived I was excited to spin it. Right out of the gates it got its hooks in deep with the opening riffs of “Rider Of The Storm”. This seemed instantly heavier than the previous effort. I was loving the gravelly, growly, abrasive vocals of Andi Deris which mellow into a gang vocal chorus. Immediately ripping hard on the wings of another beefy guitar riff “Sock It To Me” features Krokus‘ Marc Storace. A high energy rocker, just what The Meister ordered. Track 3 is “Monkey on Your Back”. It tapers back the assault momentarily for a great melodic rocker. Loaded with identifiable riffs and the harmonized vocals that guest Ted Poley is known for.
“Highlands”, complete with bagpipes, features some great guitar work and interesting tempo changes, but somehow doesn’t grab me quite as much as the opening three selections, still a solid track, however. The more times that I listen to it the almost progressive stylings of the plodding composition “Black Wolf” really seem to be growing on me. An absolute favorite vocalist of mine, David Reece, lends his talents to “Somewhere Beyond”. And Rise Of The Animal shifts back into high gear with this power metal/symphonic style track.
So far, the album has showcased the guitar talents of Voss. As well as the likes of Jeff Watson, Ryan Roxie, Bernie Torme, and John Norum. But that’s not the end of it as Doug Aldrich surfaces on “Running Out Of Time” alongside the vocal assistance of Don Dokken. With its slow build into a memorable sing-along chorus,“Grizzly Man” takes us through to the super-charged riffs of “High Roller”. Title track “Rise Of The Animal” brings us Axel Rudi Pell‘s guitar work melded with guest vocalist Michael Kiske. The final inclusion here, “Universe” is a little too symphonic for my tastes.
WOLFPAKK – Rise of the Animal (Conclusion)
“Sock It To Me” serves as my favorite cut from this all over strong collection of melodic metal compositions (see official video below), but album to album I prefer their previous effort of Cry Wolf. Cry Wolf (Album Review).
PHOTO CREDIT: Wolfpakk-Rise Of The Animal Press Kit 2015