Bad Wolves – N.A.T.I.O.N (2019)

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I just took a listen to Bad Wolves new release album, N.A.T.I.O.N, and it can only be described by WOW – So intense, and my senses have been treated to a real show.

I took on this album to review for one main reason. Bad Wolves  is one of my partners step dad’s favourite bands (so Jason this one is for you) and I assure you, he is going to absolutely love the crap out of this album – and a heck of a lot more than I did, which is saying something because it is a killer. 

These guys have really nailed it since their very respectful cover of The Cranberries 1994 hit “Zombie”.  Tommy Vext as a vocalist is outstandingly versatile and Bad Wolves are managed by a member of one of my favourite bands, Five Finger Death Punch’s very own Zoltan Bathory. 

I enjoyed this album greatly so I made the effort to make a note of each track. Whether you are a die hard fan or a newbie to their music, there is one thing for sure N.A.T.I.O.N. is one you MUST check out. 

“I’ll Be There” what a way to kick off an album. Fresh, upbeat, powerful and heavy is how I would describe it, what an absolute pearler. A beefy rich song with guitar slaying goodness and a bass drum kick that will make you shut up and take note, perfect recipe. I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the album had in it, which is really what you want out of an opening track.

“Like a Homicide” is very usual sounding for the boys (but again why would you fix something that ain’t broke right?). Solid track growly yet clear vocal and a guitar solo that was appreciated. Including a “mellow moment” in this track that gave you a moment to really savour Tommy Vext’s voice for the greatness that it is. 

“Learn To Walk Again” – Lyrically this track was great, carried by the signature vocal and growl that many including myself have grown to love. And again a short yet notable guitar solo which is making myself grow alot of respect for Doc Coyle, something about this album has drawn my attention to his skill.

“Killing Me Slowly”- Bit of a different sound to what I’m used to hearing from Bad Wolves but im digging it, im sure many others will too. Infact im not going to say much about this one, I really want everyone to check it out for themselves and make their own mind up. 

“Better Off This Way”- With this slower track I got to enjoy the well written lyrics and get lost in Tommy Vext’s softer intoxicating sound. It also features another well worked guitar solo. Labelling this one as my favourite track (well so far).

“Sober” is another slower more laid back track, however the lyrics are far from laid back.  Infact it had a really personal feel like it has dived into someone’s own experience. I’d be interested in finding out more detail of where this track came from. 

“Heaven So Heartless” started picking up the pace again here. Heaven So Heartless is a strong track without being too much of a punch after the more softer tracks. Great way to start the climb again. 

“Crying Game” – Bass drum is back and so is their kickass heavier sound with the signature growl in all the right places. Enjoyed this one alot. 

” Back in the Days” clear and taunting vocal with lyrics that take you back. Gets you thinking of just that “back in the days” of your childhood. I dig this, it rivals “better off this way” for my favourite track off the album. I love it when artists can make me feel or really think. It takes something special to achieve this so cudos. 

“Wildfire”- A sound you wouldn’t expect from them and the sad part is that this is the only track I felt nothing for. It didn’t feel special, wasn’t a horrid track but to me felt “meh”, I got bored with this one and this one only.

“LA Song” – Last track on N.A.T.I.O.N and wow where did this song come from? With it’s Zanny intro before a scream that could blow out your eardrums. What a way to conclude such a great album. After the growly screamed intro you get a clean yet smoldering vocal before getting absolutely smashed again. I would really hate to be Vext’s vocal cords right now because they copped a slashing hahaha. This track is certainly a real treat and a sensory overload (in a good way). 

LA Song was a real surprise a bit like a slap across the face from a random stranger walking past you in the street. Fantastic way to end an album.

In conclusion for every rock music fan I put it to you to give this a listen for yourself. Bad Wolves are just growing from strength  to strength and their career is getting bigger. Highly commend the boys on such a ripper album.

9/10

Steph Suter-James.

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