By Dr. Abner Mality

Only in the last few years have I caught up to how great the crust punk and d-beat genres are. I was a total metalhead for 20 + years and if I listened to punk, it was the NYHC style, not the grimy Swedish crust that Wolfbrigade have proudly played for decades. What a mass of slamming music I've been missing! And judging by "Damned", Wolfbrigade is surely the best of them all.

This is a top record whether you're metal or punk. It crushes you instantly and keeps a death grip on your attention at all times. I was surprised by the opening cut "Ride The Steel"...unusually long for this genre at nearly six minutes. The crusty but metallic riffs have a touch of sadness to them despite their power and the lead solos add even more melancholy...and melody! This is a great song!  This combination of punk metal crunch and subtle melody also arises on "From Beyond" and "Where No One Sleeps" (my pick of the album). Elsewhere, Wolfbrigade keeps it short, brutal and super-catchy on "Feed The Flames", "Hurricane Veins",  and "Road To Dreams". The vocals are typical of the genre, but delivered with a rawness and authenticity that can't be denied. Listeners don't have to worry about a garage production, either...everything sounds as clear and vibrant as it gets.

Wolfbrigade has been howling about the evils and miseries of mankind for years now. Things aren't getting better and the band knows it. That's what makes "Damned so powerful. It's the perfect accompaniment to our long, slow slide to utter oblivion.