‘Kill The Hunted’
Long before British metal legends Iron Maiden picked up on the concept, a pack of Huntington Beach, CA-based teenagers, collectively known as LEATHERWOLF, pioneered and perfected the heavy metal three guitar assault, nicknamed the Triple Axe Attack, while sharing the bill with Orange County contemporaries Metallica and Slayer at long since defunct venues such as the Concert Factory, Radio City, and the Woodstock.
Their much lauded eponymous 1984 debut EP for Tropical Records, expanded to a full-length LP, titled ‘Endangered Species’ for international release, and a pair of stunning albums for Island Records, ‘Leatherwolf’ (’87) and ‘Street Ready’ (’89), which yielded the MTV videos ‘The Calling’ and‘Hideaway’, respectively, saw LEATHERWOLF fly the flag for decidedly European rooted metal amidst a sea of formulaic L.A. glam and sleaze.
After a self-imposed break during the 1990s grunge and alt rock craze, the band’s classic line-up resurfaced in 1999 with a storming live album, ‘Wide Open’. In 2006, LEATHERWOLFemerged with a revamped line-up to once again turn the metal world on its ear with the well received ‘World Asylum’, the band’s heaviest effort to date, mixed by Danish studio whizJacob Hansen of Volbeat fame. It was followed by the quasi ‘Best of’ ‘Unchained Live’ in 2013.
Having survived line-up shake-ups and the Corona pandemic unscathed, LEATHERWOLF are finally set to unleash their long awaited fifth studio album, ‘Kill The Hunted’, a record as uncompromising and deadly as the title suggests. It marks the latest chapter in the band’s storied history as founding member/drummer Dean Roberts and long-time guitarist Rob Math are joined by fierce new vocalist Keith Adamiak, young shredder Luke Man, guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay, and bassist Barry Sparks, the latter pair alumni of the Michael Schenker Group.
Produced by Dean Roberts, the band’s primary driving force for many years, ‘Kill The Hunted’ took the better part of three years to complete, from the initial writing and demo sessions in 2019 when the band first introduced Adamiak on ‘The Henchman’, a multi-tier epic and key track on the album (including a fleet fingered guest appearance by Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake). An 11-course metal feast for the senses, ‘Kill The Hunted’ runs the gamut from visceral daggers such as the in-your-face opener ‘Hit the Dirt’ and shinkickers ‘Madhouse’ and‘Medusa’, to the anthemic ‘Only the Wicked’, and the tense and brooding ‘(Evil) Empires Fall’ whose vibes recall the crushing ‘Kill and Kill Again’ off the band 1984 debut EP.
In a classic full circle moment, LEATHERWOLF re-connected with engineer/producer Randy Burns (Megadeth, Kreator, Helstar) who had manned the boards for the aforementioned EP all those years ago. Burns was eager to jump aboard and apply his mixing expertise to ‘Kill The Hunted’ before the files were put into the hands of L.A. mastering legend, Tom Baker (Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Pantera), for the final polish.
The eye catching ‘Kill The Hunted’ artwork was created by noted artist Marc Sasso whose credits include Dio, Halford and Rob Rock.