Be the Wolf – Torino (Scarlet Records)

Tuesday, 12th January 2021
Rating: 7.5/10

Most bands follow a specific creative arc – slowly shedding their cocoon of influences to capture their own style or sense of direction. Ten years in, Italian power trio Be the Wolf arrive at their fourth album Torino – named after their home city. Moving about from 80’s melodic hard rock, blues rock, to pop and even shades of metal, these ten tracks encompass a sound that is direct, catchy, and chock full of memorable hooks and harmonies in such a way that it could appeal to a wide array of heavy (and fringe) music followers.

Guitarist/vocalist Federico Mondelli (also known for his work in the power metal act Frozen Crown) as the main songwriter presents a vibrant immediacy to the axe play, intertwining circular movements that can be a bit alternative/funky in the clean/electric ramp up for “Teenage Mutants” while exuding a bit of an older Maroon 5 atmosphere with passionate singing on opener “Undefeated”. The rhythm section propels certain songs into pounding melodic hard rock/metal directions. Check out the progressive-like changes against comfortable 4/4 main grooves during “Stay Awake” as well as the doom-ish crawl for “Sorry Not Sorry” where everything from Soundgarden and Wolfmother to a bit of the Foo Fighters can be conjured up in terms of sonic output and attitude. The simpler foundation allows Be the Wolf to enhance the hooks with alert, melodic transitions and bring life to the choruses, “April” and “Cinnamon” two tracks probable to get heads bobbing, feet tapping, and ease the listener into the comfortable sway of these musicians crafting instant, addictive arrangements.

Torino isn’t ideal for those who want to crank their amps up to eleven and be aggressive – it’s definitely more for the alternative/post-grunge and melodic hard rock crowd who dig artists like Wolfmother, Volbeat, and some artists like The Scorpions and Greta Van Fleet. But you can feel the cloudy haze of these tracks going down a storm in those sweaty, packed night clubs with patrons yearning to be entertained.

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