Review: Powerwolf “The Sacrament Of Sin”

Review: Powerwolf “The Sacrament Of Sin”

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For 15 years Powerwolf release albums on schedule every two years. Yes, Blessed And Possessed was released in 2015 but in a year the band released their DVD The Metal Mass, so it can be said that Powerwolf adheres to the schedule, and now the time has come for awaited seventh album The Sacrament Of Sin.

Powerwolf can be treated differently. There are lots of diehard fans (like me) that still listen to their albums and headbangs, although it was listened thousand times. Some metalheads disdain the band because their music is the same; their albums are the same and generally it’s a mainstream pop-under-metal. Some people are puzzled how can Christian band write songs like “Resurrection By Erection” or “Cardinal Sin”. But anyway, you should admit that even if Powerwolf will never release any song, this band already left its mark in the history of Metal. Heaviness, melody, unique musical penmanship, vivid shows, Attila Dorn’s vocals, Falk Maria Schlegel artistry and good sense of humor – all these factors make Powerwolf what it is.

Guitarist Matthew Greywolf tells about a new album: “It’s the most diverse we’ve done so far. It’s an album that has a lot of variation of, I think, what Powerwolf is all about. It’s still a typical Powerwolf album in a way, but, it is like, we have explored a lot of new elements. It’s denser and more detailed than what we’ve done in the past.”

Usually such statement settles doubts: lots of musicians say this or something similar and often it is a lie or half-truth. But not in case of The Sacrament Of Sin.

The album is really differs from previous band’s works. That’s also the merit of new producer Jens Borgen, who worked with bands like Paradise Lost, Dragonforce, Kreator and many others.

Probably the most outstanding song in The Sacrament Of Sin is “Where The Wild Wolfs Have Gone”. It is the first ballad ever in the history of the band. Not a heavy monumental song like “When The Saints Are Going Wild” or “Let There Be Night”, but sadly exalted, reminding early HammerFall or Sonata Arctica. “Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friends”, the first single from the album is also differs from the most songs: tons of keyboards, poppy motive and very sticky chorus, which would not get out of your head for a long time. Bravura march “Incense And Iron” sounds more like Sabaton with bagpipes. Or rather Sabaton‘s cover by Powerwolf because Attila’s vocals are much more powerful than Joakim’s one.

However, “typical Powerwolf” with the winds blowing, grim sounds of church bells and horror screams in almost all songs’ intros; with solid guitar riffs, melodic solos and catchy choruses – such Powerwolf also presents in The Sacrament Of Sin fully.  An opener “Fire And Forgive” clearly shows that the band won’t disappoint and will give everything that fans expect for. Title galloping song “The Sacrament Of Sin” will crush everything on its way but also has a gorgeous melodic chorus – kind of Power Metal without dragons and knights but with vampires, crosses and crusaders. And the grimmest song here is “Stossgebet” (Shocking Prayer) with verses in Latin and chorus in German – very impressive.

Also for the first time I want to notice not only Powerwolf‘s composing talent but also technical part of the music. I’ll explain: before this album the music was impressive, catchy but technically a little bit trivial and predictable. In The Sacrament Of Sin Charles and Matthew Greywolf deliver not only good riffs, but technical guitar solos, which combine speed and melody. Drummer Roel van Helden also has some interesting drum patterns with powerful delivery. And Attila Dorn’s vocals and diverse keyboards (mostly piano and organ) from Falk Maria Schlegel became an integral part of Powerwolf, and it’s quite impossible to imagine this band without it.

So, The Sacrament Of Sin not only provides to the listeners what they expected from the band, but also can surprise. And if it’s not enough, there also a compilation Communio Luporium will be released, where such bands like Epica, Heaven Shall Burn, Caliban, Battle Beast, Eluveitie and other bands will play their covers for Powerwolf songs. So, welcome to the new metal mess. Hallelujah. Amen.

The Sacrament Of Sin will be released on June, 20 via Napalm Records.

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