HardReviews 2
by Martin Popoff

Tesla - Into The Now
(Sanctuary)

Very weird... I think Tesla's the greatest thing since powdered milk, but I've been playing this thing for two months, and it's hitting me merely at a glance like new Skid Row. I find the production a little gluey and coagulated first off. Second, the heavy songs are too heavy! Sorta down low like nu-metal - and no, I'm not calling Tesla nu-metal, just specifically the riffs. I mean, here... check out Got No Glory, Mighty Mouse, Into The Now, Look @ Me, Mile Away and Recognize. They're all doom metal, granted with cloud-break bits. And please, no singing over bass line verses. Yeesh. Lots of ballad stuff too, but none of them have made me stop and fixate, save for Words Can't Explain and Caught In A Dream, which are hands extended to those who love the old acoustic hits. Basically, there's lots to dig about the new Tesla, and I notice it when I study it, but don't seem to be able to soak it through osmosis. I still think Bust A Nut is major under-rated, and Psychotic Supper rules, but I'm finding myself (ironically) repulsed at the rockers on here, and - with some guilt - warming to the ballads only, which coming from this band, always felt a little self-important. So even that transference is flawed.
Rating 7

Wolf - Evil Star
(Prosthetic)

Anybody remember Witchcross? Well certainly you remember Overdrive? Wolf sure does, Sweden's favourite NWOBHMists giving up most of their Maidenisms for a pan-European sound outta '85 more befitting their starkly admirable band name, logo and come to think of it, wiseacre of an album title. Forget power metal (I have), Wolf is the real heart of the headbang, bringing back the excitement of Witchery, but more with an eye to Heavy Load, Torch, Baron Rojo, Axewitch and Steeler (German one), than thrash. Ergo Evil Star blazes along, slowing down for the album's best track, Wolf's Blood, an anthem pulsed with a killer bass line and a riff that sounds like Uli, underneath a vocal from Niklas Olsson that sounds like that Witchcross guy. I won't say others haven't found ways to fix power metal, but Wolf have probably done the best job of it, by sounding arcane, most authentic, most enthusiastic about it, acting least like it's a joke. Knocked a few points off for every bit of Maiden that remains.
Rating 8.5

Hard Reviews Page 3