Wheel In The Sky is a Swedish quartet, formed in 2016. Much like many of today's bands, these guys reach back to a time when music was pure and exciting. The only difference is, Wheel Of Smoke stays away from fuzzed-out stoner rock and delves right into the sound of The Rolling Stones, The Who or even Blue Oyster Cult. At their hardest, perhaps they come close to ancient Iron Maiden or Danzig.
When you think back of the rock 'n' roll scene of the sixties, you can easily imagine a group of bands from the underground, trying to break grounds with a refreshing style. This quartet could easily have been one of them, inventing new rock music in a hot and damp basement. You can also feel the excitement when the band somehow create a stunning song like opener 'Fire Death To All'. It's a fun thought experiment to realize that songs like this one influenced Black Sabbath.
From there the album rolls on with pure rock music, with clean or mildly distorted guitars, energetic drums and a clean but rough voice. 'Jezebel', for example reminds me a lot of 'Sympathy For The Devil', the original song, not the thousands of different cover versions. 'Total Eclipse Of The Brain', brings 'Driver's Seat' to mind, combined with 'The Passenger' maybe. Trust me, it's a damn good combination.
Since I already mentioned that this album could have influenced Black Sabbath ( (if Wheel In The Sky really was a sixties band), I can definitely say that 'Rainbow Of Evil' could have inspired both Danzig and Ritchie Blackmore. This might be the heaviest track on this album, and once again it's a damn good one. Hell, all of them are. 'Damn It All To Hell', could have been an early Deep Purple song, and the list goes on and on.
There's some more great rock songs to follow the ones that I mentioned in this review, but I'll leave those up to you. Do the experiment, challenge your knowledge of music history and start wondering who inspired who. Fact remains that this is a wonderful trip through an exploding scene and possibly one of the most vintage albums you'll hear in 2016. This album is going straight into my massive rock 'n' roll playlist, where it will be in very good company...