Not Power Metal but Heavy Fuckin Metal
Wolf were one of the bands many of the Bloodstock crowd wanted to see. Whereas Lacuna Coil and In flames appear quite regularly at a theatre near you, Bloodstock excel in getting those out of reach bands to come over to these shores. Wolf hit the stage and it was obvious they had a lot of friends in the crowd, but it was very early in their set when they hit trouble.
Guitarist Johannes started to have technical difficulties and had to disappear for a while. The rest of the band carried on in a professional manner, however within a couple of minutes the whole power went off leaving the band looking like a bunch of lemons. What can a band do when the power goes and doesn't immediately come back up? A drum solo? Some crowd participation? Take photos of the audience? A pretend striptease? In Wolf's case all of the above as well as throwing cans of beer into the crowd (always a winner). Vocalist/Guitarist Niklas had a face like thunder when the power came back up but his frustration grew when the power went down almost immediately for an even longer break with more free beer going into the crowd (beer in cans which were banned by security but ok back stage it seems).
Eventually the power came back up and I noticed that the crowd hadn't shifted, they'd stayed true to the Swedish metal band and were rewarded for their patience with a completed set of classic sounding heavy metal. It wasn't tidy however, cables were wrapped around each other leading to embarrassing unwinding dancing from Johannes. Both Niklas and Johannes decided to speak into the microphone at the same time, which, is a mistake pub bands tend to make. Couple this with some untidy harmony guitar work due to posing rather than concentrating and you have a band who were trying a little too hard to make up for the sound problems.
There's something charming about Wolf. They are so heavy metal it's frightening. In fact if you cut one of the members in two they'd probably have the word 'metal' written on the inside like a stick of rock. They seem like a band out of time as they ran through songs such as 'The Bite' and 'I Will Kill Again', and it all looked very familiar with yours truly getting into metal during the 80s. They play a version of old school with such conviction and attitude that it's easy to see why they gaining popularity. Niklas' vocals are impressively melodic but suit the music perfectly and Johannes guitar antics reminds me of a time when the guitar hero was king.
Their performance could be described as 'unlucky,' but I thought it was great and so did the crowd. They covered the problems well and although wasn't the slickest of performances they were perfect for the Bloodstock crowd who would love to see the band again next year but a little higher up the bill. Hint hint.