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Suidakra – Wolfbite

Suidakra
Wolfbite
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 23 June 2021, 6:41 AM

SUIDAKRA is a metal band from Germany who formed in 1994.  “Wolfbite” is their 15th studio album.  Over the course of their long career, the band has kept with mostly a folk sound combined with Death, Black, and Melodic Death Metal.  I’ve been a fan for years but lost track of them over time.  After a quick search I discovered the last album I heard from them was “Crogacht” way back in 2009!  I haven’t heard the five albums in between that one and this new one.  I also haven’t listened to the band in some time so I went into this review with fresh ears.

I must say I am  pleasantly surprised.  For SUIDAKRA to be this far into their career and still have the ability to pull out such a solid album is remarkable.  Is it original or a masterpiece that destroys their earlier output?  Nope.  But does it prove the band still has a lot left to say and the bearings to pull it off?  Yep. This album hits hard for the style, too.  SUIDAKRA are definitely heavier now than they were before.  The folk elements are still there but now they are better integrated into their overall sound.  It seems the band has found a better focus on combining the metal with folk without going too far with either element.  It certainly helps that the music is, as a whole, melodic and filled to the brim with harmonies, including those in the vocals.  Growls, screams, cleans..it all has a place here and they each get their time to shine…and each part fits in the music just where it should.

A Life In Chains,” is an explosive opener and an earworm too.  After the spoken word intro, melodic riffs and robust double bass propels the song forward.  Cleans and death vocals blend together in between the guitar melodies for an epic, folk filled romp.  The riffs increase in speed but also have plenty of moments of chunky goodness. “The Inner Wolf,” shines high with lead guitar that rips through the song, pulling the vocals alongside it.  This song is very open, with a lot of moments where the vocals stop to let the music come forward.  This is actually one of the catchiest songs on the album too.

Melancholic sounds abound on “Faoladh” but song doesn’t fall too far into sullen depths because the band gives a ripping performance of high octane melodeath.  A quick, break down style section of hammering riffs hits around the 2:45 mark.  A layer of melodic riffage comes in next and pushes the song into the next level of urgency.  At the 4:54 mark more melancholic folk flows back into the song before flute and acoustic guitar carries the clean vocals to the end.

Resurgence,” is a song that is hungry for life—the band goes for the throat on this one.  The beautiful intro melds into the distortion but what sounds like bag pipes keeps the folk essence going just before the metal explodes.  The fast, tight guitars are dizzying but the band still throws in a sleepy melody afterwards before the song returns to cleans before the song ends. The final track, “A Shrine For The Ages,” sounds like a metal version of some old folk song that a bard might sing in a tavern with drunken patrons sitting around a fire and shouting along with the lyrics.  Even the music is telling a story with notes for words—this song is definitely an anthem and I bet this will go over big time in a live setting.

I’m glad SUIDAKRA still have it and clearly still enjoy what they do—this album is a fun listen and if you like this style or have been away for sometime, I think this will be a pleasant surprise and a worthy addition to their growing discography.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Life in Chains
2. The Inner Wolf
3. Draconian Slave
4. Faoladh
5. Crossing Over
6. Vortex of Carnage
7. Resurgence
8. Redemption
9. A Shrine for the Ages
Lineup:
Arkadius Antonik – Vocals, Guitars
Sebastian Jensen – Clean Vocals, Guitars
Tim Siebrecht – Bass
Ken Jentzen – Drums
Tina Stabel – Vocals
Marcel Schoenen – Clean Vocals
Axel Roemer – Highland Bagpipes
Catalina Popa-Moerck – Flute
Shir-Ran Ymon – Violin
Sascha Asbach – Narrator Voice
Record Label: MDD Records
     


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