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.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock