SkeletonWolfArtworkBefore I delve into the guts of this self-titled debut from Indiana’s Skeleton Wolf, I’d like to pose a question to our loyal readers here at Angry Metal Guy. What is your favorite drunken party metal album and/or band? You know the kind of metal that just lifts a gear and thrives with the accompaniment of alcohol, or is just best suited to the party atmosphere, or at the very least teaming up with a few buddies to knock back brews and jam tunes. Let’s face it, aside from the highly disciplined non-drinking folk and our livers and brain cells, booze and metal goes down a treat. It might be an artist where a handful of drinks are necessary to enjoy on any level, or an unrivaled classic boosted by the bravado of ye olde booze. Perhaps it’s a well known classic like Kill ‘Em All, Number of the Beast or A Blaze in the Northern Sky that boils ya potato. Or the epic viking metal of Bathory, stampeding gallop of Amon Amarth or livewire insanity of Sigh and Desaster.  Or maybe it’s a left-field choice or guilty pleasure like Andrew W.K.’s I Get Wet.

Skeleton Wolf fit the bill as a party metal band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, a refreshing aspect in an all too serious metal scene. The band apply a  tongue-in-cheek mentality, boundless enthusiasm while embracing metal cliches, and their rollicking blast of extreme noise is a joy to behold. Loosely classified as blackened thrash, Skeleton Wolf certainly incorporate these elements into their sound without letting strict genre guidelines diminish their rock-out metaltude. Overall their sound doesn’t offer anything particularly original, but their tight musicianship and slick execution smacks of professionalism mixed with a raucous, horns-up attitude, translating to sharp, punchy tunes with scything hooks and boisterously infectious riffs. Skeleton Wolf aren’t here to fuck around and their burly extreme metal hybrid is by no means a watered down splash of disposable waste.

“Bow Down to Death” showcases Skeleton Wolf’s spooky graveyard melodies and taut, fiery riffs propelled by thunderous drum work and a neck snapping chorus. Following a slow building intro with eerie sound samples of a shovel digging into earth and crows squawking in the background, “At the Sixth Foot” eventually rips into a killer thrashy groove and addictive main riff, with its mid-paced cadence enlivened by some nifty dynamics, busy drumming and its overall aggressive tone. Featuring grittier, belched from the bowels of Hell vocals, galloping double bass and a seething torrent of blackened tremolo melodies and grim atmospherics, “Whatever Demons (We All Have Them)” is less immediate than some of the album’s riffier offerings but is a welcome change of pace, descending into a charred, climactic beat-down. Skeleton Wolf’s strange fluctuations between their rabidly grim black metal dealings and thrash ‘n’ roll punch seem slightly at odds with each other, but the songwriting variations are actually quite endearing and don’t hinder the steroid jacked fun and cohesion of this wild ride. For instance later album cut “She’s Insane” blends their differing stylistic components into a ripper jam, again demonstrating their impressively catchy guitar work and memorable song construction. Going out with a bang rather than a whimper, “Forever Awake” closes the album in triumphant style, a delightful romp of melodic blackened thrash anchored by a stupendous central riff and bouncy Gothenburg groove.

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Sporting a terrifically gnarly guitar tone, the production is squeaky clean yet packs a weighty wallop that suits the robust nature of the material well. Although consistently solid and enjoyable, there’s nothing on show here to really take the metal world by storm. Despite an efficient 33-minute run time, a couple of the songs are a touch long in the tooth, while the mostly decipherable growls illustrate the band’s cheesier lyrical leanings on tracks like the ultra silly but tremendously fun “M.P.F.F.” And as much as I’ve been pleasantly surprised and enjoyed my time with the album, I’m still unsure about Skeleton Wolf’s longer term staying power.

Knocking up a tidy album full of solid riffs, tight musicianship and pure adrenaline fueled metal anthems that are raucously fun in their simplicity, Skeleton Wolf have crafted an impressive debut. Sitting amidst the smorgasbord of killer releases recently, in the grand scheme of things Skeleton Wolf falls a bit short in comparison, however, it’s a refreshing and sprightly detour, creating the ideal soundtrack for getting the head banging and the booze flowing.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Media Reviewed: 256 Kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: skeletonwolf.com| facebook.com/skeletonwolf
Releases Worldwide: June 10th, 2016

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  • Mark Z

    That preview track immediately reminded me of Skeletonwitch… which is not a bad thing. With Chance gone and the Witch so quiet recently somebody needs to step up and fill the void.

    • Reese Burns

      Huh, I thought I read somewhere that Skeletonwitch were gearing up to release a new record sometime this year

      • Mark Z

        Yeah, it’s a 4 song EP. No release date yet though.

        • Reese Burns

          Ah, that sounds about right.

    • Luke_22

      Yeah I didn’t think of them at the time but definitely hear the influence. Last I heard Skeletonwitch had an EP in the pipeline with their new vocalist, who is the dude from Wolvhammer.

  • El_Cuervo

    Sad as this may sound, rarely am I drinking and metalling at the same time. None of IRL friends like metal so if we’re drinking together it’s never metal on in the background…

    • kmal666

      This hits too close to home. Any party I attend will undoubtedly have trap music blasting. Fortunately, it works out for me. My metal of choice is black metal and everyone knows BM can’t be fun. It’s all grimness, cold and Satan, all the time.

      • Worldeater

        Abbath is grim and funny at the same time!

      • Alexandre Barata

        Taake is fun, at least the song Myr :D

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      If the world was a bit smaller I’d have a beer and listen to Serious Black with you El C, though if you put Bullet for My Valentine on I’d be out the door :)

    • Rob

      I know those feels, bro.

    • WhamBamSam

      Yep, this. Even when I hung out with my brother’s music school friends a while back the playlist was largely not metal.

    • Alexandre Barata

      Get new friends, and dump those old timers!!!

      I have luck in that as 2 of my closest friends like metal as I do and so I not only have company for drinks and background metal, but also for drinks and live shows :)

      • El_Cuervo

        I can rely on my dad for some stuff, like Maiden or Metallica. I went to Avantasia with him recently. But it’s only in recent times with the AMG crew that I’ve had someone to go with to anything heavier!

        • Alexandre Barata

          Eh cool, actually I saw my first heavy metal show (Moonspell back in 2001) with my dad, and he quite liked it. Although he won’t travel the extreme metal sea, he’s quite curious on most stuff I listen to

    • When you’re done with exams and shit you should join one of my yearly pilgrimages to a German festival.

  • I’m gunna go with Danzig I. Recently though I’ve been drinking to Beastwars. It’s a slow burn, baby.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      That Beastwars album is excellent

  • Blueberry Balls

    This is pretty cool shit.

  • Alex Benedict

    favorite drunken party metal album: Skid row – Slave to the Grind

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    My ultimate party playlist consists of Don’t Break The Oath, The Dark, and Peace Sells.
    The last song of the night is Blackout.

  • Nathan Schmidt

    I like it

  • Alexandre Barata

    For a good night of too much booze and friends I always go for some funny Folk Metal (Finntroll – Nattfodd or Korpiklaani-Tervaskanto) and we always finnish singing along Alestorm’s “Nancy the Tavern Wench”…

    As for this band, from the preview it sounds cool enough to make me want to check it out, thanks

  • Pimpolho

    It has to be Saint Vitus – Born Too Late. Well, it’s not really party-like, but definitely drunk-like.

    • That would be better suited to an opium den.

  • Hammersmith

    Skelenton Witch for beer. Baroness for Whisky/Bourbon.

  • Norfair Legend

    Suicidal’s Join the Army is utterly fantastic for some drunken headbanging.

  • RagE

    I just turn the computer off, and limit peoples choices to what they can find in my record collection. Usualy starts with Manowar/Venom/Razor/Exumer and end with Primordial/Woods of Ypres/Novembers Doom.

    • RagE

      But seriously, i do not have one friend who is not into some kind of metal.

  • Amarok

    Cross Examination – Menace II Sobriety is by far my favorite “party metal” album ever.

  • Adjudant

    Destroyer 666 surely!!! The best beer and party metal band out there, both for drinking alone and with a bunch of mates