A lot of necks are about to snap, if they haven’t already. D-beat death dealers Wolfbrigade have unveiled a fresh new hell for your ears, straight out of Sweden. Run With the Hunted is a familiar yet refreshing shower bricks and crusty, punk-y greatness.
Lycanthropunk powerhouse Wolfbrigade has unleashed their latest album Run With the Hunted, the title a nod to Charles Bukowski’s poetry collection by the same name, and a line that is also featured in the poem “My Fate.” Previously Wolfpack back in the 90's (up until Allday Hell in ’99), the Swedish crusty d-beat blasters have been a mainstay in the genre. Though they haven’t done a ton of splits like a lot of punk bands do, Run With the Hunted marks the band’s tenth full-length and shows that they haven’t lost any of the energy in 22 slamming years.
“Nomad Pack” cranks on and the first thing that comes to mind is, “Let’s rage!” There’s no frills, no slow intro bullshit, nothing fancy—just some good, old crusty hardcore/punk d-beat. A quick screech and everything is on full cylinders. And that is how you open a friggin’ album. It's like Run With the Hunted opens in a live setting. In fact, you could make the crusty case for most of the album right there. It’s intensely straightforward and never looking back, just like a live show.
There’s more to it of course; this isn’t band’s first tango. Run With the Hunted is a refreshingly melodic album, even when the band is steamrolling you and putting your body through brick walls. Leads and melodic bits are in most tracks. That thrash-y energy that overtakes “Nomad Pack” is underscored with constant shifts, but still makes aggression its forefront. Meanwhile, the second track “Warsaw Speedwolf” packs even more of a punch, with extremely catchy guitar-driven leads. It’s reminisce of Disfear composition. You know, another awesome Swedish d-beat band.
Pieces concerning melody more than these aforementioned tracks are songs like “Kallocain.” The piece features a lot less shift in melody and leads. It’s is almost gentle in comparison to the rest of the record. It’s a slow-ish burner that will rock you more than it will make you rage. And it comes at the perfect time too. Another pure piss boiler and the album might have started to get atonal. What’s more is the following track, “Return to None”, shifts up the mood just a bit more before returning to full blast on the hardcore/punk laden “War on Rules.”
Run With the Hunted is a scorching album and an excellent next step in Wolfbrigade’s excellent discography. The band’s songwriting continues to get better while never losing their grip on their roots. The use of more melodic parts plays greatly into the band’s favor and offers something to both get the rage on, and get ears twitching. Leaders of the pack and pavers of the path they most certainly are. If you’ve missed out on this, get moving and start running with the hunted.