After a handful of digital single releases, Bad Wolves have finally dropped their full length album, Disobey (Eleven Seven Records) and the wait was completely worth it. It may be a bit premature to say, but I am going with my gut and proclaiming Disobey the metal album of 2018!
Before we dive into the album, let me introduce to the Wolves. Although they are technically a new band, every member has paid their dues in their respective previous bands. Doc Coyle is best known for his shred work in God Forbid. Kyle Konkiel played bass for In This Moment, Scar The Martyr, and VIMIC. Tommy Vext lent his vocal talents to Divine Heresy and Westfield Massacre. Chris Cain came from Bury Your Dead, and John Boecklin was previously the drummer in Devildriver. That is quite the resume. The term “supergroup” doesn’t do these boys justice.
Straight out of the gates, the Wolves come out swinging with “Officer Down.” The band goes all in at 110 mph with impressive riffs and beats to lead the way for Tommy to do what he does best. Tommy is truly a master of his craft. His ability to spit venomous rhymes and transition to soulful, melodic verses and choruses is mind boggling. What a way to open the album!!
“Learn To Live” was my first introduction to the band many months ago. It still remains my favorite Bad Wolves song to this day. The track is very brutal and inspirational at the same time. That chorus will live inside your head once you hear it. Be warned!
“No Masters” has this great sludgy opening that reminds me of Alice In Chains for about 10 seconds until John Boecklin comes in with that thundering double bass. Easily one of the best lyrics on the album when Vext sings “We’ll break these bastards, there’s no masters here!”
It gets even heavier from this point on. Guitarist Doc Coyle provides us with some sick riffs on the high octane tracks “Run For Your Life” and “Better The Devil.” The latter showcases just how on point Tommy is when waxes poetic.
“Remember When” Compared to the rest of Disobey, it is one of the slower tracks, however this song is incredible, and has radio single written all over it. It’s an amazing song reflecting on life’s past mistakes and lessons learned.
Other highlights on the album include “Shapeshifter, “Truth or Dare”, and “The Conversation” which has some of the best guitar work of the entire album. Bravo, Doc Coyle!
Disobey comes to a close with the aggressive and haunting “Toast to the Ghost.” The band truly pulled out all the stops with this one. The lyrics are powerful and thought provoking. What an incredible way to bring the album to a close.
I decided that I wanted to wait until the end of the review to discuss their cover of The Cranberries, “Zombie.” I really wanted the focus of this review to be on the album as a whole. My initial thought was to just not even mention it, because I know everyone else will, but this is a song that cannot be ignored. Being a fan of the original, I was curious to see what a band like Bad Wolves would do with such an iconic song. For those who may not know, Dolores O’Riordan (lead vocalist of The Cranberries) not only gave her stamp of approval, but she was set to lend her vocals to the Bad Wolves version. Sadly, she passed away on the day she was prepared to go into the studio.
The guys in Bad Wolves decided to release the song ahead of the album’s release as a tribute and donate the money to the family of O’Riordan. Little did they know, the impact that their version would have on the world.
When I first heard the song, I was floored. Tommy crushes that chorus and I get the chills every time I listen to it. The song itself, “Zombie” still holds up very well in 2018 and thanks to the Bad Wolves, it will continue on for many years and generations to come.
I retract my previous statement about prematurely calling Disobey the metal album of 2018. I know in my gut that this IS the metal album of 2018. Hell, it could very well be THE album of 2018. This album is filled with so much intensity, emotion, and passion. Every member of this band brought their A-game and have crushed the competition. Go out and get this album from your favorite digital retailers or you can even order from the band directly. The vinyl version even has 3 more songs! You will not be disappointed. 10/10 stars.
By Contributing Writer for I’m Music Magazine Jason “Supes” Mesa
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