Ottawa, Canada are about to get a wake up call like no other thanks to new Heavy Metal werewolf pack LYCANTHRO. Could someone please alert JUDAS PRIEST and BLIND GUARDIAN because I may have found their demonic offspring. They are due to release their debut album Mark Of The Wolf and judging from these sounds, LYCANTHRO are not ones to mess with.
The album wastes no time opening with Crucible. I have mentioned in previous reviews that a great opener can either entice you in or hit you with a large impact. The best manage to do both and it’s more than fair to say Crucible fits this description perfectly. It gives you a great first helping of the band’s impeccable talent that stays consistent throughout.
Throughout Mark Of The Wolf, LYCANTHRO showcase huge amounts of talent and consistency. They manage to emulate a great classic heavy metal sound whilst keeping it fresh and new. The album contains soaring vocals, killer guitar riffs and solos, pounding bass lines and thunderous drums. All these work together incredibly well to create melodies that will be swimming in your head for days after the first listen.
When I read in the press pack Fallen Angels Prayer was based around The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, my interest was immediately piqued. It’s one of my favourite films and I love the story. The lyrics and musical arrangements do so well to capture the desperation and hope Quasimodo feels. KAMELOT’s Centre Of The Universe came to mind where everything slowed down as Quasimodo expresses his sadness on how people view him, this worked so well. There were some elements of SLAYER’s Reign In Blood when the word sanctuary is being sung. I should also mention they brought in a chamber choir to partake in this track, this was a great touch.
Prepare for a tonne of power and might when In Metal We Trust starts playing. This is the live anthem that have many metalheads grabbing the air as the vocals soar and air guitarists all over the world will get plenty of practice with finger-blistering riffs. This song also has some stellar song writing, for example “Storming the stage, with leather, spikes and fire” is the most metal line I have heard for a while. Most metal heads will relate to the lyric “A brotherhood of steel, a family where you can feel at home”, having been a part of the metal community I do find this to be true.
The band keep up the consistency within their sound right up until the last track Evangelion. It is an epic closer, one that ensures the album ends majestically and that makes you want more of LYCANTHRO’s gallant sound.
Be prepared to howl at the moon and feel powerful when listening to this release. Mark Of The Wolf is a strong debut album that every metal head needs to hear and shows that LYCANTHRO are ones to watch out for.
Warning: Make sure you aren’t doing anything else as strong urges to headbang, practice air guitar and rock out are to be expected when this record plays.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Mark Of The Wolf will be unleashed 4th June 2021 via Alone Records.
Find LYCANTHRO on Facebook.