Wolfbrigade Progression / Regression LP reissue
Before this review, I realized that I had not played WOLFBRIGADE for a very long time. And I am not sure why, because they have become something of a classic band, one of the few Swedish hardcore bands whose popularity transcends the DIY hardcore punk scene (in general, accusations of selling out are never too far away when this happens). It’s a little tragic but, while I do play WOLFPACK regularly, I don’t think I ever really sat down and paid properly attention to Progression/Regression, the band’s first album under their new name, and to be honest, I do feel like a bit of an idiot for it. This album is a hardcore bulldozer—it hits really hard, it sounds mean and unstoppable, as if darkness itself were shattering your bones. The production is massive (more so than on 1999’s Allday Hell), thick and heavy, and there is a feel of relentless unstoppability to the work that leaves one in awe. Intense shit. I am not necessarily the biggest fan of their take on the käng genre, but listening to this again makes me want to ride a bike into the wasteland wearing boots and a bandana. Musically, we’re still heavily in the dark hardcore period of the band when they maximized the late ANTI-CIMEX sound with the addition of a Swedish death metal influence in some guitar leads and in terms of epicness. I almost hear some of POISON IDEA’s rocking darkness at times too, although WOLFBRIGADE is quintessentially Swedish. This is undeniably a real ’00s hardcore classic and it still sounds fearfully powerful. Agipunk and Havoc Records had the sense to offer a new cover because the original was quite dreadful, if quite typical of the ’00’s. A welcome reissue.