Written by Alex Stojanovic
Faster Than The Flame
Beast Of Gevaudan
Dancing With The Dead
Alive Or Undead
Blood For Blood
Call Of The Wild
Sermon Of Swords
Undress To Confess
Reverent Of Rats
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Label: Napalm Records
Benjamin "Matthew Greywolf" Buss - Lead guitars / David "Charles Greywolf" Vogt - Rhythm guitars & studio bass
Christian "Falk Maria Schlegel" Jost - Keyboards / Karsten "Attila Dorn" Brill - Vocals / Roel van Helden - Drums
If you notice, the opening tracks on the last four albums (from Blood Of The Saints up to The Sacrament Of Sin), the opening track always contained the fast triplet rhythm, so expect the exact same thing with the opener "Faster Than The Flame". You could actually sing the choruses to "Blessed & Possessed" and "Fire & Forgive" in the chorus of this song. The typical formula for a Powerwolf tune is simple: church organs coupled with awesome heavy riffs, lyrics about werewolves, mythological beasts and tongue-in-cheek religious references, and Attila Dorn's immense vocals. Other quick-paced tracks include "Beast Of Gevaudan", "Sermon Of Swords", "Call Of The Wild" and "Reverent Of Rats".
Of course, there are some songs on this album that will make you think of older songs, like the aforementioned "Faster Than The Flame", but also "Blood For Blood", which immediately put "Incense & Iron" in my head due to its bouncy triplet rhythm and Irish drinking song melody. We can all link arms and swing our beer steins to this one. There's also a couple of slower heavy stompers to bring the tempo down, but still give necks a good workout. For example: "Glaubenskraft", also the only song to be sung in German. There's no way you can't have Rammstein in your head during the short vocal solo section towards the end where Attila goes into his lower register. Of course, the guitar work from Matthew and Charles Greywolf, and the keyboard melodies from Falk Maria Schlegel are just as much at the forefront of any Powerwolf album.
Speaking of slow, we also have "Alive Or Undead", the album's ballad. You don't normally think of ballads when you think of Powerwolf, but given that The Sacrament Of Sin had "Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone", they're a welcome addition to a Powerwolf album for the purpose of dynamics. Then there are the catchy mid-paced numbers like "Undress To Confess", "Dancing With The Dead" and "Varcolac". It doesn't matter what song it is, every song is designed to get people to sing along. I dare you to try and resist the urge to sing along or sit still to pretty much any Powerwolf tune. That simply cannot be done.
As it has been said many times before, gimmicks tend to run their course after a certain amount of time, and I'm sure for certain fans, the Powerwolf formula has definitely done that. I'm a guy that enjoys evolution, and there are times where I'm craving something different from a certain band, even if I don't feel it hits the mark. I'm not at all saying Powerwolf has to change. All I'm saying is that if they ever were to introduce something like an element, or an out-of-the-box song that we would never expect at the very least, I wouldn't be mad whatsoever. Love 'em or hate 'em, Powerwolf sure know how to make fun and insanely catchy metal tunes, even if the riffs and vocal melodies are recycled from older songs.
Highs: "Blood For Blood", "Glaubenskraft", "Sermon Of Swords" and "Undress To Confess"
Lows: If the Powerwolf formula has tired you out, there's nothing on here that will change your mind.