N.A.T.I.O.N. by Bad Wolves Review

Image from Music Mayhem Magazine

Image from Music Mayhem Magazine

Amanda Mourelatos, Editor in Chief

Normally one doesn’t purchase an album after listening through it only once, but I did. It was on sale at Zia Records, but that’s not what persuaded me into owning  N.A.T.I.O.N. the sophomore album by metal group Bad Wolves. It is one of the best new-release rock albums I’ve heard since Shinedown released their album, Attention Attention, on May 4th, 2018. Bad Wolves’ new album includes both head-banger and soft rock songs that capture modern rock in a way I haven’t heard in a long while.

Before listening to N.A.T.I.O.N., I had only heard Bad Wolves’ popular songs on the radio, such as cover of The Cranberries’ 1994 hit Zombie and Remember When. I always knew Tommy Vext, the lead singer, had some wicked vocals, but this album blew me away. The combination of the depth in the lyrics, the rhythmic end, Tommy’s vocals, and the variation of songs is the recipe for a killer rock album. It has a pleasing balance of hard, screaming songs and calmer, lyric-focused songs.

Image from YouTube

The songs touch on subjects that pertain to my current life struggles, such as coming back from rock bottom and parting ways with once important people. In that way, it does make the music more appealing to me because it reaches out to me emotionally and tugs on my heart strings. My favorite songs, lyrically, include Learn To Walk Again, Better Off This Way, I’ll Be There, and Heaven So Heartless. For example, iLearn To Walk Again, the lyrical content is empowering and uplifting. It’s all about picking yourself up when you’re beaten down; the beginning of the chorus reads, “I had to fall to learn to walk again, I had to crawl to learn that I could stand.” This song, along with the others I listed, speak to me in a way that gives me that urge to fix my posture and lift my chin.

Image from Rock ‘N’ Load

Now overall, my favorites are No Messiah and Crying Game, the head-bangers of this album. I love the balance of harsh vocals and stinging long tones in the chorus of No Messiah. Also, being a drummer, I loved the drumming throughout the song and especially during the last bridge. In Crying Game, I’m obsessed with how the drums first build up to the pre-chorus, then Vext’s voice is isolated in the line, “I see through all your schemes,” which takes the song into the chorus.

I’ve been playing this album on repeat in my car, my earbuds during class, and while I’m at home ever since I heard it the first time. I would give the album a solid 9/10. It’s order is laid out well with diversity in between songs. There isn’t one song on the album that I can’t enjoy. Good content was expected, and great content was served.