Austrian melodic thrashers Wolfpack Unleashed makes their label debut with “Anthems of Resistance”, which in general is a re-recording of their first demo “Art of Resistance”.
WPU sound like a mixture between 80’s American Thrash (Metallica around “Master…” and a lot of others from that era) and the European/British and (East) American Speed/Thrash-wave of the 90’s (Xentrix and a dozen or more other semi-known bands of that time). In other words there are no new inventions here, more like a(nother) re-invention of “traditional thrash“. On the other hand they do it very well, admitted, and come off as a genuine thrash band with a bit more modern sound than their sources of inspiration (and with all “the right attitudes” as well – just check their web site!!).
Guitarist (and mastermind I suppose) Wups Koch admitted himself: “I realized quickly that all classic Thrash riffs were already written, so we used minor chords and melodies to create a unique sound” – and that explains it quite well how I think about this album: with minor exceptions we’ve heard it before, for an old Thrash-fan like me I dare to say “a million times before”. And I miss one or two tracks that really stand out from the rest that could go for the status of a classic, like “Battery” or “Wake Up Dead”.
Everything is played very well, sure they are all skilled musicians – I might miss something in the composing department, so the music doesn’t just flow like an endless stream.
The universe of the lyrics is the traditional Thrash lyrics as well: war, religion and so on. The vocals sound a bit like a shouting version of Hetfield, but not with quite the same nuances in the phrasing.
All in all a very good old school thrash album, with good sound, but without something that really sets WPU apart from a lot of other Speed/Thrash-bands of the last 20 years. This being their debut album could make me hope they’ll develop more of their own style on the next one, and until then I might let this album spin a few times more, but it won’t reach the classics.