Many fantastic bands have come out of Chicago over the years, from Macabre to Cianide to Cardiac Arrest. Fortunately the city is proving to sustain its consistency of solid bands. Today we will focus on a relatively newer act which was formed in 2013 from alumni of bands such as Dead for Days and Worms Inside. Please give your attention to black/death metal tyrants Blood of the Wolf, with their sophomore album titled II: Campaign of Extermination. After my first couple of listens to this album I began doing some research, and was surprised to discover that they are self-releasing their albums. Record labels should start submitting offers to Blood of the Wolf – it would be a shame to miss out on them!
The first couple of tracks feature a strong backbone reminiscent of Polish behemoths Vader, and shows Blood of the Wolf wasting no time on their campaign, as they hit hard and fast. The second track, aptly titled “Campaign of Extermination”, is an all out pummeling force of solid death metal with some strong icy leads. My interests continue to be piqued from there, with other influences like Necrophobic, Dissection or God Dethroned beginning to shine through. It’s nice to hear an American band patch together influences from all over Europe yet maintain a sound that is unique to them. You won’t listen to this and say it sounds identical to any one of the aforementioned bands, no – you’ll listen to this and say that it sounds like Blood of the Wolf.
I’ve heard numerous bands attempt to emulate this style over the years, but aside from the originators, very few have managed to grab my attention like Blood of the Wolf has. This album is bursting at the seams with memorable riffs, leads and lyrics that I’ll be belting out in the shower for years to come. Spitting in the face of tedium, Blood of the Wolf cultivates a strong approach to their songwriting – throughout not only a song but an entire album, never focusing too much on an idea. There are a great deal of alternations between venomous thrashing, bitter somberness, crushing death and gorgeous acoustic sections. Complimented by blasting precision percussion, abysmal bellows and blustery shouts reminiscent of the deadliest of southern storms (known as Alex Camargo); this is a band that knows exactly who they are and show that proudly in an electrifying fashion of no less than 300 kilovolts.
II: Campaign of Extermination is a well polished, well executed album that should have no issue in pleasing fans of any of the influential bands mentioned in this review. There is absolutely nothing new here, and that doesn’t matter. All I expect from bands is some good, solid extreme metal that keeps my interest. Here you get precisely that – eight songs that stand apart from each other – not one song sounds like any of the others. If you were to hear this without any prior knowledge of the band or the album (for instance, at a friends house and they played it) I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this was a Nuclear Blast release that you’d somehow missed. Therefore, I reiterate to anyone with a record label, give this band priority! I look forward to seeing Blood of the Wolf grow; with this album being a good indication of what they are capable of I see a very bright future for them.