Written by Alex Stojanovic
Fire & Forgive
Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend
Killers With The Cross
Incense & Iron
Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone
Nightside Of Siberia
The Sacrament Of Sin
Venom Of Venus
Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Label: Napalm Records
Attila Dorn - Vocals / Matthew Greywolf - Guitars / Charles Greywolf - Rhythm guitars & studio bass
Falk Maria Schlegel - Keyboards / Roel van Helden - Drums
"Nightside Of Siberia" wins the award for the album's dominant riff, with an instant hook once it kicks in, making it just impossible to resist the urge to bang your head and sing along to the chorus. If I may also add, the riff sounds like an homage to Amon Amarth. It all of a sudden got me wanting to listen to "Pursuit Of Vikings" or "Guardians Of Asgaard", and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. "Stossgebet" is one of the darker tracks where the vocals in the verses resemble a priest in a church, perfectly accompanied by the church organ in the background. You can just picture Attila Dorn doing a church mass singing the verses from the song. It's the only song where the lyrics are in both German and Latin.
The highlights don't end there though. If you love the catchy choruses, then "Venom Of Venus", "Incense & Iron", "Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend" and the album's closer "Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)" are for you. The main melody in "Incense & Iron" carries that Irish drinking song vibe and you can envision the crowd swinging their beer pitchers and singing along to the chorus. To add a bit of variety to the album, we get the ballad "Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone". This track may take a few listens to grow on the people that have grown accustomed to the catchy anthemic tunes, but they execute it quite well.
Powerwolf have yet to tour North America, so I've yet to see them live, but here's one thing I want to get off my chest. I know that from the videos I've seen, a bass player is non-existent in the band, especially live, but Charles Greywolf plays bass on the albums. In that case, I'm not sure if in a live setting, they use bass on tracks or if Falk Maria Schlegel provides bass from the keyboards as well. Using bass on tracks is something I wish bands would not do at all. If someone who has seen the band live can let me know what they do with the bass in a live setting, that would be greatly appreciated, but I digress.
Powerwolf have established a sound that is identifiable and clearly works for them, but as they should be aware, and I'm sure they are, there's going to come a point where the formula is going to run out of fuel and get tiresome, and I'm sure that it already has for most people. There's certain bands that I enjoy that have followed the same formula for their entire career, but their music has reached a point of redundancy and it doesn't contain the same magic as their early albums. The same can be said about the whole gimmick. Powerwolf are seven albums in and all of them sound the same. The difference between them and certain other bands who go down this path, is that they always manage to put memorable elements in the songs, whether it's a catchy melody/riff or an epic sing-along chorus/vocal line(s) that's always going to stick with you and you can't wait to hear it again.
Highs: Anthemic choruses and awesome melodies
Lows: If the formula has burnt you out, stay away.
Final Rating: 8/10
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