Review: Lonewolf – Division Hades

Any of you youngsters remember the original pirate metal band? Nay matey! I’m not talking about Alestorm here. The Godfathers of pirate metal weren’t folk-influenced Scots, but German heavy metal-titans. The spirit of what Running Wild started back in the 80ies clearly still lives on in Lonewolf’s new longplayer Division Hades. Not the pirate part, but the hard hitting, razorsharp riffs, that groove so hard, I imagine they could easily heat the river Styx with them.

Lonewolf are a metal band from France who are heavily influenced by the Teutonic bands of days past (aka the 80ies), like Grave Digger, Blind Guardian, and of course the aforementioned Running Wild. For those of you who don’t know: “Teutonic” is pretty much just a fancy word for “German” nowadays. The excellent sound is due to the mixing and mastering at Studio Greywolf, done by none other than Charles Greywolf of Powerwolf fame. Looks like the wolfpack sticks together. No lonewolfs here (ba-dum-tss).

The Last Goodbye starts off the album pretty calmly with a roughly 2 minute long intro. Then the guitar amps are apparently warm enough to riff away, accompanied by a thunderstorm of doublebass-blasts, that almost go through to the end of the song. That guy must have calves of steel.

The next two songs waste no time on intros and get pretty much straight to the point. The Fallen Angel and Division Hades are pretty much straight-to-the-point neck-breakers from start to finish. All of those songs, though clearly heavily influenced by the bands I already mentioned multiple times in this article, have a unique character. A wolvish touch if you will. Manilla Shark is the exception to that though. That one could have easily been on Running Wild’s Black Hand Inn or Blazon Stone. I don’t mean that negatively at all. My vintage ass is always up for a good hommage. It’s not about a sea dwelling creature, but about the loss of Mark “the shark” Shelton. The singer and guitarist of Manilla Road. It’s probably my favourite track of the album.

In the spirit of old-schooliness, Lonewolf planned out the album as a vinyl release. So side-b of course also gets an intro in the form of To Hell and Back (why not “to Hades”?). The rest of the album is pretty much more of the same. Which would have been a problem, if the album was any longer. But clocking in at around 50 minutes, it’s exactly the right length for that nostalgia-slap-in-the-face some of us metalheads so desperately crave from time to time.

To celebrate the release of their tenth studio album, the digipack includes a bonus disc entitled Into The Past We Ride, that contains both old and some
very rare re-recorded tracks covering the time span between the band’s first demo tapes until the second full-length album.

Now for the next album, find a guest-spot for Turbowolf, and change labels to Wolf record international. For the full awwooo-wolf experience (sadly that’s a country and Chicago blues-label. You can’t have it all, i guess).

Here you can read our earlier review of Lonewolf’s The Heathen Dawn.

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