Bounding through the gloom

I've always felt that "doom" was simultaneously an odd and obvious metal subgenre. After all, metal usually doesn't propagate giddy feelings. And, perhaps more to the point, how can anyone claim to be a "doom" band after Type O Negative?

Wolf Counsel
Age of Madness/Reign of Chaos
(Czar of Bullets)

Wisely, Wolf Counsel doesn't try to sound too much like its predecessors. There are the necessary nods to the Sabs, of course, but there are also many more upbeat and almost punk moments. You wouldn't be too amiss in wondering how much Faith No More or Mushroomhead these guys have bouncing around their heads.

And so this isn't so much turgid stoner rock as it is just plain powerful. Wolf Counsel sounds like it is having some fun, even with song titles like "Semper Occultus" and "Coffin Nails". Though when I think about it, perhaps those titles do convey a bit of a wink and a nod.

I dunno. I smiled a lot more than I expected while listening to this album. This is metal for metal people. If you don't like buzzsaw riffage carved out of the power chord bible, well, there are plenty of other things for you to sink your ears into. Connoisseurs will know how to properly digest this one.

Jon Worley

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