• 7.5/10
    SEASONS OF THE WOLF - Once In A Blue Moon - 7.5/10


Label: Earth Mother Music
Release date: July 4, 2007

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Ever since their self-titled debut about a decade ago, Florida’s Seasons Of The Wolf have managed to stand out in the flourishing underground Metal market, being about as far from showcasing a “Metal-by-numbers” routine as is possible. Perhaps the band, whose nucleus consists of the Waddel brothers Wes on vocals and Barry “Skully” on guitar, plus keyboardist Dennis “Dr. Samurai” Ristow, had already been together some eight years prior to releasing their debut, enabling them to conjure up a style and carve a niche all their own. Ever since, various outlets and sources have tried to justifiably label the band; tags such as “Gothic brand of Power Metal,” “Traditional American Heavy Metal with a new twist,” even “Psycho-Hippie-Doom-Metal” and “New Age Metal” have been uttered. Indeed, the band roams within Classic-styled Metal and infuses it with further dark overtones, with lyrics often barring horror, fantasy, and futuristic-styled themes.

Once In A Blue Moon, Seasons Of The Wolf’s fourth release, has been some three years on and off in the making whilst the band was in search for a new rhythm combo. Thus, a series of drummers and bass players have lent their skills to the creation of this album. Although six years have passed since the band’s last offering, Nocturnal Revelation, and the addition of a new rhythm combo, musically the band’s recipe of pushing its envelope remains. Seasons Of The Wolf’s overall uniqueness is probably mainly due to the charismatic blend of Skully and Ristow’s playing and arrangement ideas, while the odd voice of Wes could be described as a mixture of sorts of Tim Baker (Cirith Ungol) and original Metal Church howler David Wayne, further helping the band being instantly recognizable.

“Ghost Woman,” a tale of mourning and eventually joining one’s deceased loved one on the other side, starts off with Church organ-like keyboards before a driving riff encompasses it. As usual with Seasons Of The Wolf, hard-hitting material, such as ”Wings Of Doom” and “Peace On Earth” are intertwined with slower numbers. “Nikhedonia,” the werewolf’s quest for its next feed, demonstrates the band’s knack for this, as does “In The Shadows” where they truly hit their stride in providing an atmosphere that is so often unfortunately lacking in music. Maybe because of this talent, Seasons Of The Wolf have provided soundtracks to several films, and indeed, the instrumental “Alien Landscapes” would make a very fitting theme for Sci-fi imagery on the screen. The band also tackles pure Traditional Metal well with “Battle Scars,” both where arrangement and lyrical dealings are concerned.

A beast that is multi-facet in its trait’s, Seasons Of The Wolf portrays all seasons and more with their music. Once In A Blue Moon is a welcome return of a band that offers something different and slightly unpredictable to the jaded listener.


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