Review by shadowdoom9 (Andi) for Bad Wolves - Dear Monsters (2021)
Bad Wolves is a band I consider part of the category of alt-metal bands my brother enjoys and I used to, and though they obviously didn't exist during my peak in the category nearly a decade ago, I enjoyed a few songs from this band when my brother listened to them a few years ago despite sounding like part of said category. I decided to revisit that band with their new album Dear Monsters, and despite Tommy Vext having already left the band, replaced by ex-The Acacia Strain guitarist Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz on vocals, upon first listen I thought this album has amazed me, probably the second-best alt-metal album of the year behind that Spiritbox album! However, well...
I took a second listen for this review, and while half of the songs still remain great, the others not so much. Still, the career of these Bad Wolves is beyond interesting. Even with TV out and DL in, this band still has their strength, especially considering the vocal abilities of the latter that's as good as the former. More cool melodies and heavy riffs are written to peak high, and they're enough to make this album an OK one to recommend and sing along.
"Sacred Kiss" starts with a slow intro before speeding into a hard rocker with an anthemic chorus. "Never Be the Same" kicks up the drumming action, along with fierce riffing. Then things go down to the middle with the radio-tune "Lifeline". However "Wildfire", with its strong environmental message, gets you humming to its massive hook.
"Comatose" continues the anthemic vibe with dynamic tempo added over sultry vocals. Next song "Gone" burns slowly and nicely with Laskiewicz's nice harmonic vocal range. The chorus riff adds some power to that song. Up next, "On the Case" is where they get serious with their metal, unleashing groove riff punches and great screams. This bad-A song can really sink its teeth into the skin of your eardrums. "If Tomorrow Never Comes" is where I get a bit lost. It's a nice song with good melody, but not so moving. The next exciting part of this metal road trip is miles away, and it doesn't when the part you are stranded is mid-tempo and filled with cliché lyrics. A decent track worth a good single, but not something to rock out to. "Springfield Summer" has nice acoustic country, but again it doesn't really work for the album.
Next track, "House of Cards" has heavier riffs than most of the previous tracks, with a killer soloing bridge. The lyrics are slightly confusing, making me unsure what they mean. "Classical" is anything but that old music genre, instead unleashing some more metal fire worth listening repeatedly. While the softer tracks weaken every time I listen, the heavier tracks have stronger impact and, once I get my drivers' license, makes me wanna drive a car into a crash pit and jump out before it falls. "In the Middle" closes the album with epic acoustics worth a strong vibe of swaying phone lights along with romantic lyrics and a solo to tribute to Slash. 5FDP shall recognize and enjoy this variation.
As a result of all these ups and downs, Dear Monsters has soft and half-acoustic tracks more suited for radio fans than myself, and epic and heavy tracks to fit inside the metal library that recognizes Bad Wolves as a solid band. Anyone tired of waiting for new material from Disturbed, Bad Wolves is the right band for you. Dear Monsters is a good start before building your way backwards into the Tommy Vext era. So turn it up and sing out loud! And get those soft radio single potentials the h*ll out of here....
Favorites: "Sacred Kiss", "Never Be the Same", "Comatose", "On the Case", "Classical", "In the Middle"