Lonewolf - The Fourth and Final Horseman
Napalm Records
Heavy Metal
10 songs (49'39")
Release year: 2013
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Alex

The Fourth and Final Horseman is my first introduction to the French band Lonewolf, even though the band has been in existence since early 90s, went through temporary breakup and then has been quite prolific in the last decade. I never even heard of Lonewolf before, but you can’t follow them all, only the ones having the “wolf” in their moniker and playing heavy/power metal probably count somewhere around a dozen.

Skeptical on my first half-through into the album, I have to admit I now get Lonewolf’s shtick. Relying on “pure metal” chunky to speed picking riffs, the band has definitive Celtic, or is it Gallic, melodic overtones (title track) embedded into the German heavy metal blueprint, combined with very distinct Grave Digger-styled vocals by Jens Borner. Perhaps not the most inventive in the lyrical sense (witness the chorus line of the title track), Jens does a dead-on impersonation of Chris Boltendahl trying to sing through his throat wrecking laryngitis, especially when he is taking the center stage in the intros to The Poison of Mankind and Destiny. You almost expect the band to break into “Parcival”, but, honestly, The Fourth and Final Horseman is a ton more fun than anything Grave Digger released since, well, Excalibur. Unabashed joy from their music is what Lonewolf is all about on the album, and it definitely shows.

The band can go from militaristic march to playful Helloween speed picking in one quick step (Hellride). Next moment they can be Vikingy-like Einherjer with the clearly defined riffs (The Brotherhood of Wolves), break out into the boisterous gallop with a supercatchy melody (Dragonriders), or sound like almost an Amon Amarth-lite at times (Guardian Angel), especially when it gets to the solos which are often a point of emphasis (Another Star Means Another Death). This last cut, and the closer Destiny, show Lonewolf not being averse to taking the grime off the guitars and showing up a bit of the sensitive side before going all heroic and/or playful.

Speaking of the leather clad hero image, a lot of how you receive The Fourth and Final Horsemen will depend on where the needle on your “gimmick goofball” radar points. Dragonriders and Time for War can definitely be construed as too literal and borderline cheap stunt, but on the whole they fit the mood of the album, and no cut in the end is a skipper here. All of you into Grave Digger, Running Wild and Forefather should kick back and enjoy the ride. As much as I am usually a doubter for this kind of music, Lonewolf delivered.

Killing Songs :
The Poison of Mankind, Dragonriders, Guardian Angel
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Lonewolf that we have reviewed:
Lonewolf - The Heathen Dawn reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Lonewolf - Cult of Steel reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
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