X-Terra - Wolves


Well, this is an interesting band.  X-Terra has been around for about 20 years and I've never heard of them before receiving this, their 5th album in the mail.  Once I got past the cheesy album cover, I popped the CD in and here we go.
This band is all over the map here.  They go from a little classic metal, to hard rock, to classic rock, to punk, to alternative, and probably a few other styles I'm forgetting.  "Wake Up" is the opening song and it has a bit of a punk/hard rock feel.  Pretty catchy actually.  New vocalist, Bill Hunt has a pretty good voice most of the time on this disc.  Kind've a whiny, raspy style that ranges from anywhere between Dale Thompson to Glenn Kaiser, to Mike Stand, to some of the old school punk vocalists.  A little inconsistent at times, but solid for the most part.
The title track "Wolves" has a really heavy sound incorporating some metal and some pretty killer groove right at the end.  Great headbanging song.  Another great tune is "Calm Before the Storm".  This song incorporates some great gang vocals and also has a crazy guitar solo with some chugga-chugga riffs. 
This band sounds kinda like a band who's not into perfection (not to say they are bad musicians), but into just jammin' and rockin' with a good raw sound.  Their songs are all pretty catchy with choruses that stick in your head for quite a while.  It's really hard to believe that this band is comprised of band members this old and still can rock hard.  The main purpose of X-Terra doesn't seem to just be extreme cause they do their share of slowing things down for a classic rock ballad with a Zepplin or GNR styled guitar solo.
The easy thing would be to bash this band for its genre jumping, cheesy artwork, and age.  But if you give this album multiple listens you're bound to find at least something you like. 
Production is pretty decent for this indie band and the lyrics seems to be really encouraging for the most part, but also mixing in warnings of the dangers of sin.  One of the lines that sticks out is in the song "All the Way".  It says, "If you're gonna take God's hand, go all the way".  Good advice. 
I didn't have very high hopes for this band, but they surprised me a good bit.  Their promotion company is right on in saying that this band will appeal to fans of bands from Zepplin, to Alice Cooper, to Bride, to Stryper.  In fact, on the album closer "It Doesn't Matter", Hunt does his best Michael Sweet impression on this dead-ringer for a Stryper-styled ballad minus the overwhelming keyboards.  X-Terra isn't as good as any of those bands, and definitely not one of the top 20 albums of the year, but a pretty fun listen.  Check them out at http://www.silentplanetpromotions.com   (Review by Matt)