It’s taken quite some time for me to get around to reviewing Wolfbrigade’s Damned. Why? That’s simple. I’ve been too damn busy actually enjoying the album to want to buckle down and and take the time to commit words to it. That time had to come, though, because this is one album people need to know about. It’s just too good not to spread the word about it. Damned further showcases the massive level of talent on Southern Lord right now. While this new wave of crust punk has many fresh faces coming to the table, Wolfbrigade have been eating at it for a while. Veterans of the scene so to say. They were kicking around in the nineties as Wolfpack, and older songs like “Shit System” and a bitching cover of the Misfits classic “Death Comes Ripping” should give you an idea of where these guys come from if you aren’t yet familiar.
Over a decade into their existence and we now have Damned, Wolfbrigade’s fifth full-length album and arguably their best. This mammoth earth covered brute is a true force to be reckoned with. Time has only strengthened Wolfbrigade’s sound and tightened all the bolts on their music. This album is a nonstop rocket ride through hell from the moment “Feed The Flames” begins playing. It hits your ears like a freight train and doesn’t stop pummeling them until the final track ends.
One thing you’ll quickly learn on Damned is that Wolfbrigade like to play fast. And pissed off. If you’re curious about individual tracks I’ll save us both some time and say they’re all great. All of ‘em. They’ll kick your teeth in without missing a beat. To dig a little deeper I will say “Hurricane Veins” is one of my top tracks on the album. Then, you have “Ride The Steel” which clocks in at six minutes, about triple the playing time of most of the tracks. That extra time makes room for some killer guitar work and welcome melody.
The album ends just as it begins; fast, pissed off, and aggressive as hell. You won’t find many moments throughout where Wolfbrigade feel the need to slow down. They rage on at full speed all the while preaching their word with a conviction that would make some tremble in fear. It’s been a while since I doled out a perfect score, and this album deserves every bit of it. I’m gonna go ahead and put Damned into the ring as a contender for album of the year.