BlackWolf had an incredible debut album at the start of 2014. So much so that it stood shoulder to shoulder with bands like Foo Fighters, Slash and Rival Sons at the end of the year. Having launched a successful PledgeMusic campaign, one I contributed to, and with Toby Jepson at the helm, it was safe to say expectations were high.

Before the album dropped in my inbox a couple of days ago, it was preceded with some news: BlackWolf was undergoing big changes by way of a new name. Step forward: illustr8ors. Citing new views on the band’s sound and their hopes for the future, it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

However, and there’s a massive one here: if Photopia was played to me blind, I’d instantly say it was BlackWolf. Sure, the new album has some growth on it and the bluesy edge to their hard rock has been sanded down so it’s not so prominent. But it’s still there.

illustr8ors – Photopia 2016

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