WOLFTOOTH - “Blood & Iron”

By Solomon G

Your humble reviewer here does not do negative reviews. I’ve never made an album before - good or bad - who am I to judge? If I don’t care for something, my equal opposite somewhere out there loves it. So, as they say: there’s no accounting for taste.

New wave of traditional heavy metal [nwothm] is cool as hell. It brings to mind the best the 70s had to offer: BLACK SABBATH, UFO, JUDAS PRIEST, KISS, RUSH, but also smaller bands like MAHOGANY RUSH and RIOT. To me, despite any supposed advances in sound recording, those records still sound fresh. WOLFTOOTH’S “Blood & Iron” contains some that, and of course an original sound only a practicing metal band can craft.

The album harkens back to some of the lesser great bands from the 70s: BUFFALO, CAPTAIN BEYOND, LEGS DIAMOND. Not to say WOLFTOOTH should be as revered as those, just that; if I were to find this record as 45 year old copy of “Blood & Iron” in some dingy thrift shop, I’d be pretty stoked. Truth is, this comes out sounding like the new wave of ‘right now’ heavy metal [nwornhm] more than any other era. I guess it’s the emo vocals and strict adherence to mid-tempo rockin’ that confounds me. No crazy screams, nor much in the way of unexpected [but always appreciated] innovation.

I know every band believes that are writing their best songs when they write and record them. You can really hear that dedication here. Nobody writes a song and says “That’s good enough!” Or “That’s sufficient!” It doesn’t even make it onto an album unless the players believe it’s excellent, and I believe that they believe.