With their debut album, Disobey, Bad Wolves deliver an album worthy of their collective pedigrees and exceeds all the hype surrounding the record.
Comprised of former members of Devildriver, God Forbid, and Divine Heresy, Bad Wolves is a prime example of how the right combination of band members can create an incredible album. I was initially apprehensive about calling this band a super-group, as often the super-group tag can create high expectations with mediocre results. However I’m glad to say that Disobey slapped me out of my cynical mindset with its stellar songwriting and amazing musicianship.
Their first single, a cover of the Cranberries’ classic “Zombie,” is currently dominating rock radio and is the number one song on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Charts. Though the band was originally slated to sing with Cranberries’ singer Dolores O’Riordan before her passing, vocalist Tommy Vext balances the heavier tone of their version with melodic nuances that pay tribute to O’Riordan and add depth to the song.
The balancing act of aggression and melody is the driving force of the album, as each of the thirteen tracks showcases the bands ability to blend fast heavy riffs, courtesy of guitarist Doc Coyle, with subdued choruses that allow Vext to flex his vocal talents. Drummer Josh Boecklin, formally of Devildriver, is the backbone of the album, as his extreme double bass drumming and intricate rhythms burst through the speakers with machine gun precision and ferocity. The closing track, “Toast to the Ghost”, transitions from blast beats and rapid fire double bass drumming usually associated with black metal bands to a slow, riff oriented breakdown right out of the hardcore genre playbook. Surprisingly, with such an emphasis on extreme metal characteristics, the songs on Disobey each have a groove reminiscent of Pantera and Five Finger Death Punch, giving listeners ample opportunities to bang their heads along with tracks such as “No Masters,” “Remember When,” and “The Conversation.”
In a musical landscape where the majority of rock radio stations shy away from newer artists, Bad Wolves show that Rock music is starved for something new and aggressive. And when combined with the latest releases from Godsmack and Breaking Benjamin, 2018 may be the year when hard rock fans can take back the airwaves and prove to the world that the rock genre is still viable and stronger than ever.
Verdict – 9 / 10. A damn near perfect debut!