Wolfbrigade Damned

Wolfbrigade Damned
Extreme music tastemaker Southern Lord has a serious crust/grind hankering lately, which works out fine for the listener who wants to hear the cream of this particular crop without wading through dirty squats and anarchist bookstore collective co-ops to find them. Case in point: Swedish d-beaters Wolfbrigade, who have been around for ages and put out a zillion releases (some under the name Wolfpack, with the best-titled being the A D-beat Odyssey EP). It's tempting to say, "no wonder their sound is honed so well on Damned," but, look, you don't have to practice music like this for too long to get it right. But while Wolfbrigade deliver the crust/hardcore/punk to perfection on this album (see "Ride the Steel"), they also nail down that one thing that gets lost in many of these crust albums: feeling. Maybe it's the huge, and very metal, production (care of Frederik Nordstrom at Studio Fredman, known for recording bands like At the Gates and Opeth), but this thing packs a punch. It's reminiscent of Disfear, in that it has the d-beat and crust vibe, but it's delivered with a very metal sound, with excellent results. (Southern Lord)