Review: SONIC WOLVES – Wolfwitch Demo

wolfwitch_demo cd

“A rockin’ collaboration of American and Italian heavy rock musicians.”

Sonic Wolves are the new new band formed by Kayt Vigil – bass & vocals (ex-Hounds of Hasselvander, Pentagram and Hatchetface), Vita – drums (Ufomammut) and Stefano Tocci – guitar (ex-Incoming Cerebral Overdrive, Deaf Eyes). Wolfwitch is their debut demo. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by their guitarist Stefano Tocci at Ampire Studio in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy, between December 2014 and April 2015.

The band have made 100 CD-R’s which come in a gatefold sleeve with the song titles and a thanks list. They have wisely spent more time and effort on the music than fancy cover art. It’s pretty functional but still nice to have the original disc and cover in your collection.

Wolfwitch is 8 tracks (counting the intro) of heavy riffs with plenty of bottom-end, as we have come to expect from any band with Kayt Vigil on bass. Her vocals are well balanced between guttural and melodic, and fit the pissed-off lyrical vibe of the songs perfectly (after all, who isn’t pissed off most of the time these days? I know I am!).

Sonic Wolves switch from slow, doomy jams to punk rock and back again, often in the space of one song, while always staying heavy. There’s bits of Wino-style biker doom, blues rock, psychedelia and sludge. It adds variety and helps to sustain the listener’s interest for the length of the CD.

As this is a demo, the production is not as polished as a full blown album. This works in the band’s favour, though, as the sound on the CD is closer to that of a live show. Finished albums can sometimes be too clean sounding, with every last bit of guitar noise or minor mistake removed. I find myself coming back to demos time and again for this reason (I always enjoyed Cathedral’s In Memoriam more than their debut album, for instance). They also preserve the band’s original idea of how they want the songs to sound while they are still fresh and new, free from any advanced production techniques or studio wizardry. There’s nothing wrong with well-produced studio albums (I’ve just finished recording one myself!), but sometimes only a self-produced demo will do. Wolfwitch is a prime example of this. Click the link below to visit the Sonic Wolves Facebook page. The CD’s might have sold out by now, though, so be quick!

Sonic Wolves on Facebook

 

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