Wolfbrigade - Run with the Hunted
Southern Lord
Hardcore Crustpunk
10 songs (26'52")
Release year: 2017
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

And so in the search of the good hardcore crustpunk, to continue my fascination with the genre, I begin where I have started, with Swedish Wolfbrigade. There is not much to say when material’s quality speaks for itself on Run with the Hunted.

Wasting no time, from the word ‘go’, from the very early moments of Nomad Pack, the Swedes plunge into the meatiest grindcore crossing over into crust punk. Tripping, falling, rushing over itself, Nomad Pack establishes a start to a lycanthropy topic laden album which does not let go for a second. Don’t dare listening to Run with the Hunted tired. It won’t forgive, mowing you down with methodical speed and brutality, just like its predecessor Damned did. In an interview Wolfbrigade maintained they had to reach inside for the extra rawness and primitivism, but I sense their knack for dripping melodies did not betray them. Warsaw Speedwolf or Feral Blood are short melodic screams, and the closer we get to the end, Under the Bell and Dead Cold demonstrate what melody amidst depravity really means, and how short well placed leads can make a fierce palette so much richer. It is failing Western society Wolfbrigade is trying to depict, the Mad Max world, yet there is something endearing and poetic in the way they do it. The key to success, again, is rich and thick guitar sound. Talk about melodic wall, there are more layers than in a fully grown onion here, thanks to Studio Fredman and Sunlight Studio productions. And just like those two legendary Swedish music making factories collaborated on Run with the Hunted, the album channels altogether early In Flames, Dismember and Martyrdod.

Don’t think Run with the Hunted will be all flowing, pretty and catchy music. There is plenty of punkiness here, the breakneck total chaos of No Reward and War on Rules, the dirty street thrash of Lucid Monomania with shouting vocals barking decisive commands. Yet what endeared me to Wolfbrigade last time does not fail again here. They simply know how to walk the narrow plank between bedlam and harmony. Pulsating downtuned riffs of Return to None are attractive to a fault, and Kallocain can be called a longer introspective track with a statement main riff almost Amon Amarth style to open with, only to scramble the middle into crusty pandemonium.

One of the redeeming qualities of Damned was how every track was standing on its own, any or all of them able to serve as a business card for Wolfbrigade, no weak material there. Interestingly enough, Run with the Hunted repeats the same trait. To do it twice in a row without a dip in quality is a true testament to Wolfbrigade being atop of the genre. This album and recent Martyrdod is what hardcore crustpunk is all about.

Killing Songs :
Warsaw Speedwolf, Kallocain, Return to None, Feral Blood, Under the Bell, Dead Cold
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Wolfbrigade that we have reviewed:
Wolfbrigade - Damned reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
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