BlackWolf: The Hunt

Bristol quintet's impressive debut.

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For all their enduring attachment to cherished musical traditions, hard rock and metal have evolved a fair bit over the years.

So while Black Wolf’s old-school take on the art form will gain few plaudits for originality and even fewer style- mag photoshoot requests - (lacking, as they do, the photogenic retro stylings of a Wolfmother or Steel Panther), it still sounds refreshingly simple and accessible compared to a lot of their shock-hungry contemporaries.

While House Of Emerald Wine is a likeable, boogie-based NWOBHM romp and Raised On The Sun is a familiar-sounding outlaw blues ballad; elsewhere, they subtly weave their own sound which is less obviously generic. Faith In Me’s semi-acoustic riff offsets Scott Sharp’s Axl-esque groans with an earthy soulfulness, then Dragging Ghosts incorporates touches of brooding grunge and Black Hole Friend injects a punky urgency into its mosh-friendly riffs.