Written by: Blackie Skulless
Wolf was a blip on the NWOBHM radar that came and went before they really had a shot at any kind of fame. The discography includes one demo in ‘82 and a full-length in ‘84, and that's all she wrote. The latter is what I’m here to discuss, because it’s an incredible gem that was not only overlooked, but also could have been huge if the spotlight was kinder to it. Edge Of The World is the name, and it falls on the warmer edge of the NWOBHM spectrum.
I say “warmer” simply because of its calmer delivery and overly welcoming vocals. The first thing that comes to mind is Def Leppard’s On Through The Night, but with guitars that are way undercooked. Melody dominates the entire disc, with concise vocals that latch themselves onto a vibrant scale of rhythms. I wouldn’t say that there’s much in the vein of mean riffs, but the production gives them a firm ground to reflect back the solid leads. This certainly allows for loads of bounciness, much like the faster but steady picking behind the chorus of “Shock Treatment.”
This approach also generates songs that almost feel like a metal-coated rock ‘n roll song. “Highway Rider” has some serious mid-era Beatles energy. “A Soul For The Devil” is also loads of fun, as it changes the entire mood by adding crawling synth under slower guitars and a vocally focused passage. Closer “Medicine Man” is a strong ballad with great harmony and works as side-B’s version of “A Soul For The Devil.” Weirdly enough, you’d expect an effort like this to drop some eerie toppings, but even “Rest In Peace” doesn’t inject the spoopiness that the lyrics would suggest. That may sound like a complaint, but I think that helps set a very common style like this apart some.
With that being said, those going into Edge Of The World looking for the Venom or Angel Witch hybrids of NWOBHM are going to be disappointed. The only hint of anything aggressive would be the speed metal banger “Red Lights” near the end. Had there been more coverage, Wolf could have been the perfect band that ties together the likes of Dokken and Demon, and I can’t appreciate this buried gem enough.
Wolf - Edge Of The World was released in 1984 from Mausoleum Records
Wolf don't appear to roam the wildlands of the internet
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!