[19th July 2013]
01. Amen & Attack
02. Secrets Of The Sacristy
03. Coleus Sanctus
04. Sacred & Wild
06. Cardinal Sin
07. In The Name Of God (Deus Vult)
08. Nochnoi Dozor
09. Lust For Blood
10. Extatum Et Oratum
11. Last Of The Living Dead
Powerwolf are a power metal band hailing from Saarbrucken, Germany. They have been around for ten years now, releasing four albums, including the excellent Blood of the Saints in 2011, and their fifth album Preachers of the Night is getting its release this week through Napalm Records. Powerwolf, as could be pretty easily guessed from their name, play a very wolfish style of power metal that is dark and gothic tinged in terms of musical themes, with lyrics that focus on religious tales, vampires, and werewolves. The fact that they also wear corpse paint should tell you that this is not your typical sword-steel-and-dragon power metal band.
If there is one thing Powerwolf are guilty of, it is sticking with their tried and tested formula throughout the album. You know what you are going to get by now, so for anyone hoping for something slightly different, this is not your hour. For the rest, who want pure blooded Powerwolf, let it be known that they have once again knocked one out of the park. This has all the hallmarks of what the band built their career upon: bombastic vocals, dramatic guitar riffs, towering keyboards, and grandiose, over-the-top choruses. That said, there are not many other bands that share a similar sound, even in Powerwolf’s native German metal scene. Their combination of elements is fairly unique, with only Sabaton being the closest comparison in terms of sound and power.
For anyone who doesn’t know what to expect from the band, this album is as good a place as any to start. The guitar riffs are furious and really quite competent. The lead melodies are unlike anything any other band might create, and the rhythms sound powerful and flamboyant, with one great example being on the tune “Sacred & Wild” which is almost whistful and hymn-like. The drumming is hard and driving, and the keyboards are deliciously and fantastically cheesy.
The best part of the band is always the vocals though. Powerwolf have always been able to create insane over the top catchy choruses, and the fact that singer Attila Dorn has a very distinguishable voice really helps them build that even higher. Dorn has an extremely full and muscular voice, and he uses it to the greatest effect. The melodies he sings are wonderful as well, being compelling and, as is keeping with the rest of the band, completely over the top. The songs “Lust For Blood” and “Extatum Et Oratum” are especially notable in this regard, and are probably among the best on the album. Additionally, he uses his lower range techniques really nicely on the song “Kreuzfeurer”, sounding truly quite menacing.
Preachers of the Night is a force of metal, storming the gothic castle like a mob of angry villagers marching to exterminate the vampire that dwells there. It is dark, bombastic, furious, and plain wrapped in mad gothic splendour. Songs like “Amen & Attack” and “Coleus Sanctus” bring huge choruses, and others like “Secrets of the Sacristy” add a dollop of sweet wonderful guitar melody. It isn’t a departure at all from their sound, but fans of the band will enjoy it, and it is a good place to start for those new to the band. It is a Powerwolf album, for all the good and bad that may bring. It is pretty much all good this time around though.
Best songs: “Sacred & Wild” “Extatum Et Oratum” “Amen & Attack”