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Review: Nightwölff - Riding the Night
Riding the Night

Label: Witches Brew
Year released: 2023
Duration: 43:34
Tracks: 9
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock


Review online: March 25, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

Riding the Night is the debut from Nightwölff, a hard-rocking metal band out of Oregon. There’s no denying these guys are going for an ‘80s sound that combines the down and dirty playing of the NWOBHM with the accessibility of the US and other parts of Europe scenes from the same time frame. The album is way over at the hard rock end of the pool, though there is enough metal in the mix of songs like "Still Waters," which has a Saxon vibe to the opening riff, and "LHF," which is admittedly kind of bluesy during the verses but lets it rip during the solo. There are other songs which are generic, culminating with the cliché and skippable ballad "Lonesome Road," which belongs on a Tom Kiefer (Cinderella) solo album. If there were any doubts about Nightwölff’s ‘80s devotion, their cover of Krokus’ "Night Wolf," from the classic 1983 album Headhunter, and probably where the band got their name, should put that to rest. Unfortunately, they are overmatched by the demands of the song. The singer can’t hold a candle to Marc Storace and the guitar work of Fernando von Arb is beyond reach as well. I’m a sucker for ‘80s hard rock/heavy metal, having grown up on the stuff and it being the gateway to true heavy metal, so I can find some stuff on Riding the Night that I can tap my foot to, but I realize it isn’t going to be for everyone, it just isn’t anywhere near as amazing as many of the bands Nightwölff is influenced by. However, if you need something simple, direct, and upbeat, Riding the Night might fill the bill.

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