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Wolfpakk - 'Rise Of The Animal' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d2/50/8c/Wolfpakk-Rise-Of-The-Animal-87-1429125356.jpg Hot

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A rich and varied album that swings seamlessly from straight forward Hard Rock to frantic Power Metal riffing.

'Rise Of The Animal' is the third in a series of all-star projects put together by Michael Voss (Mad Max, Silver, amongst others) and Mark Sweeney (probably best known for his time with Swiss Melodic Rockers Crystal Ball). As with the previous two releases, as well as writing all the tunes, the pair contribute vocals and guitar, alongside a multitude of guests resulting in a rich and varied album that swings seamlessly from straight forward Hard Rock to frantic Power Metal riffing. And I must confess that when I first read through the bio and line-up of contributors, I was just a little concerned how coherent and consistent the album as a whole could be.

Fortunately those concerns are totally blown away by the sheer quality of what is on offer here. Voss and Sweeney have built their reputations over the years on a combination of power and melody and that's evident right from the opening track of 'Rider Of The Storm'. Helloween's Andi Deris's rough vocal spit out the verse over the racing drums of a Power Metal riff, with Sweeney and Voss's smoother voices sharing the chorus lines. All this is then topped off with a melodic, but pacey lead break from Night Ranger's Jeff Watson. 'Sock It To Me' is classic anthemic Rock with Sweeney and Voss again sharing vocal duties with Marc Storace of Krokus.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Highlights include 'Highlands' giving us the seemingly bizarre combination of German and Swiss, American vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple) and Irish guitarist Bernie Torme (Gillian) in a historical tale of the Scottish/English civil wars of 'Braveheart' times. 'Rise Of The Animal' itself is another soaring Power Metal classic with the vocals of Sweeney and Voss intertwining with Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) perfectly.

Elsewhere there are contributions from Don Dokken, Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore) and Ted Poley (Danger Danger) amongst others as well as guitar work from John Norum (Europe), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) as well as Voss himself. Thrown in some drums from Chris Slade (AC/DC, MSG) and Simon Phillips (Toto) along with Magnum's Al Barrow and Bob Daisley (Rainbow, Sabbath, Gary Moore) and you start to get the picture; it is a list that is by no means exhaustive.

But what's most impressive about this album is the fact that Voss and Sweeney as producers have managed to pull it all together so seamlessly. Vocal tones compliment within the structure of verse and chorus and despite the varied guitar contributions and Rock/Metal styles on display, they really do manage to maintain that coherency within a band/project theme. So much so I just might be checking out the two previous Wolfpakk releases.

Ian Parry

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