Sweden doesn't fug around when it comes to their music, from d-beat to death and every genre in-between, that nation has been constantly putting out serious contenders for the world heavy weight title in all genres of the heavy side.
If you could take all the heavy metal music you listen to, press it into a blender and add fifty grams of Bhut Jolokia to it, what you would get after hittin' the mix button is the molten hot Heavy Metal played by Wolf.
As with all the great metal we're hearin' lately, there is no sub-genre bullshit to it, you're scorin' the goods on all the best that metal offers; Vocals which, at some points, harkens back to Halford, a touch of speed metal with the thumping bass and blast beats of tracks like "Vicious Companions", the ripping leads and galloping bass of great NWOBHM, the crunchy chords of thrash, the brutal lyrics of Black/Death metal and, though I may be goin' out on a limb here, an ever so slight, and I do mean very slight, touch of the Sunset strip (though this influence, if there is one, is heard more clearly on previous releases such as the song "Blood Angel" on Ravenous).
Wolf is yet another one of those killer bands which came out of one of the darkest times in Metal history; their first two demos where put out in '95 and '96 (Man, I'd love to hear those), but it wasn't until 2000 their debut S/T LP was unleashed. Until, then they had put out two singles: "In The Shadow Of Steel" and "The Howling Scares Me To Death". And as with the masters, they have made no qualms as to who has influenced them; a few examples; their cover of Mercyful Fate's "A Dangerous Meeting" on their second LP "Black Wings" and the awesome cover of BOC's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper and Slayer's "Die by The Sword" which both appeared on '04's Evil Star as well as the song "Alma Mater" from Portuguese goth metalers Moonspell which appears on the Century Media Comp "Covering 20 Years of Extremes" (note: Wolf's cover blows doors over the original).
If you're familiar with Wolf, this album doesn't break a bit from the sounds of earlier releases. It does seem, however, that "Legions Of Bastards" is much more refined. And, as you may know, the only founding member on this album is Niklas Stalvind. If one thing history has taught us, it's damn hard for a band to have the kind of line-up changes that Wolf has sustained without imploding. But some, on the other hand, evolve into something which is fugging awesome, as if time and fate has drawn musicians together to produce music that will not only stand the test of time, but infuse an enthusiasm into fans for the releases yet to come. The current lineup consists of Niklas still in his role of frontman Vocals and guitar, Anders Modd on Bass, Richard Holmgren hittin' the kit and newest member, having come aboard this year, Simon Johansson on Guitar.
This entire album really goes to town; it's polished, yet not "commercial". From the opening track of "Vicious Companions" which blasts out a statement of defiance to those who wish to change an individual for their own personal gain, to the last track "K-141 Kursk" which sings the tragic tale of the young Russian Northern Fleet's nuclear submarine Kursk (the sub was completed after the demise of the Soviet Union) which went down in the Barents Sea in 2000 killing all hands aboard; the lyrics are intense and, at times, hard fuggin core viciously dark and the musicianship throughout kicks arse!
If I were to be asked which track was my favorite, I would honestly respond with a "they're all so good"...seriously, it's that awesome. However, I do have a soft spot for "False Preacher"; rhythm, leads, vocals, I even hear the ghost of Ronnie James Dio at 1.52 into the track where Niklas sings "mmm..the false preacha ", just for a split second but he's there...the song is so FUCKING SOLID!
It is undeniable, the metal on Legions Of Bastards goes beyond steel and enters the realm of Adamantium!