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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Firewölfe - 2011 Firewölfe
Firewölfe - 2011 Firewölfe

ARTIST: Firewölfe
ALBUM: Firewölfe
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2011
SPONSOR: Paul Kleff


LINEUP: David Fefolt - vocals * Paul Kleff - guitars * Nick Layton - guitars * Jay Schellen - drums

Guest: Zack Uidl - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Air Attack * 02 Unholy * 03 Firewolfe * 04 Armed Forces * 05 Back From Hell * 06 Wicked Words * 07 Ice Wizard (Instr) * 08 Tempter * 09 M.O.D. * 10 Feel The Thunder



Here's a new band alerted to us a few weeks ago from GDAZE regular RKBLUEZ. They are the 80's sounding metal outfit called Firewölfe. Unlike the 80's however, this band are borne on the strands of the fibre-optic highway, a five-piece collective who have used the tools of the Internet and their own respective home studios across the length and breadth of the USA to aggregate a collection of songs which is pure traditional sounding 80's metal in the vein of Savatage, Armored Saint, Metal Church, Vicious Rumors and the like. Formed by guitarists-in-league Paul Kleff and Nick Layton, the duo realised they had more in common than first appeared, and so began a process of collaboration in 2010 that bore fruit after joint songwriting efforts. The exchange of musical ideas cemented to the point of progressing to a full band situation with other players. Next onboard came singer Dave Fefolt, a singer who has credits with Masi, Angels Of Babylon and Rhino, and whose voice was the perfect instrument to carry the Firewölfe songs. Jay Schellen (Hurricane, Unruly Child etc) provides the drums while session bassist Zack Uidl rounds out the band. To give you an idea as to how 'inter-continental' Firewölfe are, Kleff lives in Michigan, Layton in Vancouver, Fefolt in Phoenix, Schellen is from Los Angeles while Uidl resides in Chicago. The transfer of large music files across the Net is the way of the music industry these days, though it does make band practice a lot tougher now.. lol! However, I wonder how soon we'll be able to see musicians 'jam' with each other live across the Internet? If I'm thinking of it now, guaranteed it will happen within my lifetime.

The Songs
Much like L.A metallers Malice led off their 1984 debut with the song 'Air Attack', so too do Firewölfe, though not the same song obviously. Still, the chugging guitars from Kleff and Layton and the manly vocals from Fefolt does enough early in the piece to convince me that Firewölfe has the firepower to inflict maximum damage to my ear-drums. The processed guitars and huge overall sound makes 'Unholy' a particular highlight. It's easy to hear the old Savatage material filtering through the mix, and with a simple but effective chorus, this is the way traditional metal should always be. The Savatage comparison is reinforced on the title-track 'Firewölfe', though the lyrics are straight out of the late Ronnie James Dio handibook. All good by me! 'Armed Forces' is industrial strength metal complete with big riffs, pinch harmonics and double kick drums from Schellen. 'Back From Hell' retains the heavier than thou approach, musically not as demonic as the song-title suggests, but still it combines the favoured 80's style of metal with a modern production and arrangement. The best of both worlds. Taking the slower but intense route is 'Wicked Words', with guitars set to 'stun' and a crushing back-end rhythm section. Kleff and Layton dominate precedings on the instrumental 'Ice Wizard', and though it has the makings of a noodly neo-classical fret-fest it doesn't quite get there, with solos only occasionally rearing its head. 'Tempter' is one of two longer tracks on the album (the other being the six plus minutes of 'Armed Forces'), clocking in at just under six minutes. Again, Savatage is a strong reference to my ears, the songs patient build up reminding us how classic U.S metal used to be back in the day. One of my favourite tracks is the killer sounding 'M.O.D.' (a.k.a 'Metal Or Die') with the twin axe work completely OTT. I think the metal world has found a new replacement pairing to take over from Tipton and Downing. Last but least, 'Feel The Thunder' has prog metal potential with its orchestral intro but things are bought back into perspective with tight drumming, gang-chant vocals and guitars fitting more into the mould of classic metal than anything else. The six-string shredding reminding me of all those neo-classical cats from the 80's like Joey Tafolla and Marty Friedman.

In Summary
Firewölfe are bound to shake up the metal world with this classy release. Interesting to see former Asia member John Payne handling the mix for this album alongside Jay Schellen. The pair have given the album a forceful sound and remained true to the ideals of 80's metal, which is where all these blokes originate from anyway. Released as an independent CD back in July 2011, Firewölfe have just recently inked a deal with Japanese metal label Rubicon Music to have the album released in Japan, whereby the CD will feature an additional bonus track 'Waiting For Daylight'. In the meantime, the CD is easily available from the regular Net Retailers, or you could go one better and order a whole bunch of Firewölfe product directly from their Online Shop.

Firewolfe - 2011 Unholy Preview

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#1 | dangerzone on September 18 2011 04:14:29
I managed to get this before I left the U.S. but somehow it falls a bit flat to me. The whole fast-paced, shrieking vocals thing doesn't always pay off. I feel this is slightly overrated, with hundreds of bands playing in this vein right now.
#2 | Hevy on September 20 2011 16:22:53
It's obvious to me that 'dangerzone' has never heard the FireWolfe cd. The whole cd is medium paced, there are no fast past numbers... and to mention shrieking when talking about Fefolt's vocals is just ridiculous, the guy doesn't shriek. He must have been talking about some other band because FireWolfe kicks ass!
#3 | jefflynnefan on September 27 2011 02:13:54
Definitely hear the Savatage influence. Yep, I'll check this out.
#4 | rkbluez on October 03 2011 23:38:22
Yeah I have to agree with Hevy...the Firewolfe CD is one of the classiest examples of pure American style power metal with kick ass punchy tunes...great vocals and killer tasty guitar solo's...nothing fast...just a huge powerful sound...and Feholt's vocals are in the fine tradition of Dio, Coverdale and Russell Allen... crystal clear and powerful...not even a hint of shrieking... overrated I don't think I said in my original post on this band this is one classy old school heavy metal album of the highest order.

My only wish is these guys stay together and put out more killer albums like this in the future...Dangerzone is right on one thing there are a lot of mediocre bands out there playing this type of music Firewolfe is not one of them.
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