Michael Voss & Mark Sweeeney's Wolfpakk



THE BAND:
Vocals: Amanda Somerville (AVANTASIA), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR / ex-GAMMA RAY), Göran Edman (ex-RISING FORCE / ex-GLORY), Johnny Gioeli (A.R.P. / HARDLINE), Tony Mills (ex-SHY/ ex-SIAM / ex-TNT), Doogie White (ex-RAINBOW / ex-RISING FORCE / ex-CORNERSTONE / MSG), Blaze Baley (ex-IRON MAIDEN / WOLFSBANE), Piet Sielck (IRON SAVIOR / ex-SAVAGE CIRCUS).
Guitars:
Kee Marcello (ex-EUROPE / ex-EASY ACTION), Mandy Meyer (UNISONIC / KROKUS / ex-GOTTHARD / ex-COBRA), Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN / ex-HELLOWEEN).
Keys:
Don Airey (ex-OZZY / DEEP PURPLE), Tony Carey (ex-RAINBOW).
Drums:
Brian Tichy (SUN / ex-WHITESNAKE), Hermann Rarebell (ex-SCORPIONS), Roland Jahoda (ex-PARADOX / F.U.C.K.)



TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Moonlight" - The intro to this song opens with ambient                                                                                                                                                                        noise. The musical intro opens with a lead guitar riff over the top of the drummer playing quarter-note cymbal crashes.  After the second measure there is a huge drum fill.  This drum fill connects the musical intro with the musical verse.  The musical verse consisted of a double-bass drum pattern.  The musical arrangements for the musical verse had a very intense feel to it. There was a minor rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus.  The last two lyric lines of the pre-chorus had echoes attached to them.  There was a snare drum fill connecting the musical pre-chorus with the musical chorus.  The musical chorus consisted of a huge double bass drum rhythm.  The drum fill connecting the first musical chorus with the second verse was cool as hell!  The lead guitar solo was after the second chorus.  After the short lead guitar solo there is a repeat of the musical intro.  After the repeat there was a musical rest that consisted of ambient noise.  After the fourth chorus there was a second lead guitar solo.  This solo was minor yet very intense.       
2.) "A Matter Of Time" - This track opened with the ambient noise of a clicking clock.  The musical intro to this track was basic.  Over the top of the musical intro connecting the intro with the musical verse was a minor solo.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The vocal lines of the musical verse were amazing!!  For the last lyric of each lyric line the lead singer carries the note out.  Not having the linear notes for this release however if I had to guess I would say that it is Johnny Gieoli of Hardline singing this song.  The musical verse and chorus were but up one against the other with just a minor musical change.  There was a minor lead guitar solo after the first chorus.  After the first second chorus there is a musical build-up that leads to the several lead guitar notes.  The song ends with the clicking of a clock. 
3.) "Dark Revelation" - This track sounded like three or four different styles of music all rolled into one and it just did not work for me.  
4.) "Cold Winter" - This was an amazing ballad!!!!
5.) "Palace Of Gold" - This track opens with a keyboard arrangement.  This arrangement is very reminiscent as to what you may hear in a ballet.  This arrangement is played three times.  There is a drum fill connecting the keyboard with the main musical intro section.  The rhythm guitar riffs of the intro had a very simple feel to them.  On the third measure in between the guitar rhythm and drum line the keyboard rhythm kicks back-in.  There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  There is a drum fill connecting the verse with the musical chorus.  After the first chorus the keyboard riff of the intro connected the chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a bass drum & rhythm guitar change.  This changed this lead to a timing change for the lead guitar solo section. The coda consisted of the same keyboard riffs as the intro section.         
6.) "The Beast In Me" - This track was reminiscent of an intense version of a Stryper song.
7.) "Wakken" - This track had a classic eighties heavy metal sound to it.  It has such a great sound to it that it may be my favorite on the disc.
8.) "Pressure Down" - There was a vocal scream over the top of a rhythm guitar riff of the beginning of this intro.  There was a minor solo over the top of the main intro section.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The way the guys arranged the lyric lines of the pre-chorus was very much like the way Michael Sweet arranges his vocal & backing vocal lines.  The choruses were kept very simple.  There was a lead guitar lick connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  There was a lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  This also was one of my favorite songs on the release. 
9.) "Run With The Wolf" - Cover of the Rainbow song.  Released on the sophomore release of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow titled, 'Rising' released in 1976.  In issue 1 of Kerrang! Magazine, 'Rising' was voted as the number 1 album of all-time! 
10.) "Cry Wolf" - This track opened with the ambient noise of waves hitting the sand.  The musical intro opened with an acoustic guitar arrangement that sounded as if it was played out of a Ritchie Blackmore fake book.  The acoustic guitar section gives away to a piano over the top of the ambient effect of rain along with a speech and what sounds like an American Indian.  This leads to a heavier intro arrangement.  Though the musical verse has a heavy sound to it musically, it is fairly basic.  There was a drastic musical change for the musical chorus.  This musical change came right out of left field.  I loved the first chorus of this song!  During the second verse it sounds like there is a second singer singing.  The second chorus was arranged different.  There was an amazing lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  This lead guitar solo was either done with two guitarist or it was double tracked.  After the solo, there was a musical rest.  This lead to a drastic musical change that consisted of a grand piano arrangement.  Over the top of the grand piano there was a guy talking.  This breakdown section lead to a second lead guitar solo.  This solo was done by a single guitar not as long but just as intense.  My god what an amazing song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11.) "Kid Raw" (bonus track) - This track was a classic eighties sounding song and after listening to it one can see why they added it on as a bonus track.



     'Cry Wolf' is the second release from songwriters Mark Sweeney and Michael Voss.  Much like the guys 2011 release the two have surrounded themselves not only with a huge selection of musicians.  Covering the gambit on multiple styles of heavy metal.  Does an all-star style band work for every song Sweeny/Voss wrote for this release? No, however when it does work it does work! 
     Before reviewing 'Cry Wolf' I purchased the first release not so much to compare the two as most of the reviews I read have done.  However, I purchased it to see if this Sweeney/Voss blueprint worked on the first CD.  For 'Cry Wolf' it is as if Sweeney/Voss tossed what did not work and greatly improved on what did.  Not only did some of the songs blow me away however has a musician just some of the little pockets of arrangements here and there blew me away!
     CD's such as this release are what I like to call CD's for the practicing musician.  'Cry Wolf' was an amazing release and if you are a fan of any of the musicians on this release you should buy it.