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Blackwülf - Sinister Sides Award winner

Sinister Sides
by Kyle Scott at 04 April 2018, 11:33 AM

Skulking out from the remotest regions of California’s Redwoods comes BLACKWÜLF. These Stoner Metal riders have been stalking Oakland’s hunting grounds since 2012. Slow, steady and ever so patient, they don’t care how long it takes to bring their prey down in “Gate of Sorrow”. When they finally do engage in a chase, they still maintain a steady pace; a calculated run, unconcerned which direction their prey goes off into. Bass is down tuned to the max and lead guitars are fuzzed into oblivion. BLACKWULF channels a little ALICE IN CHAINS when they’re slow, and ALICE COOPER when they’re fast. They clearly like to change up the pace, adding multiple layers to their songs. “Sinister Sides” has Pete Holmes showing off with a madman caliber solo riff.

“Waiting on Tomorrow” plays on a desolate plane of chanting backing vocals, cavernous reverb and melancholic acoustics. “Dead to the World” has infectious chugging riffs, “The Tempest” is a cautionary tale of how cruel and fickle the sea can be, set to electrified chords. The best track might be their cover to CREAM’s “Sunshine of Your Love”. They play their version slower like they’re playing in swamp mud, their instruments clogged with the damp sludge. “Battle Line” is a weary tune, Alex Cunningham’s vocals set against Holmes’ complex progressions. It’s a somber, serious note to round the album out on.

BLACKWÜLF has been praised for writing “filling” riffs that never cease to flit between fiercely intense and quietly introspective. BLACKWÜLF asserts themselves as masters of Stoner with their third album “Sinister Sides”. They’ve experimented with a slight less soul-sucking and bleak attitude in this album compared to their sophomore album “Oblivion Cycle”, without sacrificing quality on heaviness. “Sinister Sides” shows off a different facet of heavy. BLACKWÜLF lives for the night, forever stalking the shadows of the Oakland forests.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Gate of Sorrow
2. Sinister Sides
3. Waiting on Tomorrow
4. Dead to the World
5. Blind to Fate
6. The Tempest
7. Sunshine of Your Love
8. Battle Line
Scott Peterson - Bass
Dave Pankenier - Drums
Pete Holmes - Guitars
Alex Cunningham - Vocals
Record Label: Ripple Music


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