Last year Powerwolf released their compilation Best Of The Blessed as a way to earn some time, maybe money and remind about themselves as well in a lack of tours and gigs. However, in COVID 2020 the band didn’t take some rest but recorded their eighth album Call Of The Wild.
If you are already familiar with Powerwolf‘s music, you know exactly what to expect and it will not disappoint: Heavy/Power Metal riffs, lots of synths, pseudo-clerical atmosphere, epicness and Attila Dorn’s powerful vocal. All of these fully present also in a new album as well – the band strongly adheres to its concept, which made the band famous but at the same time tries to bring something new, even a little bit. There are no doubts about quality as well: Jens Borgen and Joost van den Broek from Fascinating Street Studios know their business good.
Actually, the first released singles “Beast Of Gévaudan” and “Dancing With The Dead” show greatly what fans will get on a new release: pathos and symphony, choirs emphasizing Attila’s vocals, memorable choruses and catchy melodies. With this “Dancing With The Dead” sounds more sublime and ominous at the same time.
“Faster Than The Flame” can be placed alongside with such songs like “Fire And Forgive” and “Blessed Abd Possessed”: epic symphonic intro changes with fast guitar riff, powerful drums and Falk Maria Schlegel’s organ. Attila habitually mixes English with Latin and overall that’s that one signature Powerwolf sound, which was expected from the band. Long story short, it’s a great opener for the album and for the future live shows too.
In “Alive Or Undead” Attila shows everything he got. The song starts with slow keyboard intro and silent symphonic samples, and then it slowly turns into a typical Power Metal ballad. But the main thing here is the voice: powerful, emotional and captivating. It’ll be very interesting to see how Powerwolf will perform it live.
Epic, slow paced “Glaubenskraft” with catchy melody reminds “Stossgebet” from the previous album a little bit (mostly because of the pace and language). Those who know German say it is probably the most heretic song in the band’s history. I don’t know, I don’t have the lyrics and I don’t know German but I can say for sure that “Glaubenskraft” is another hit from the band. “Undress To Confess”, in its turn, brings back a Powerwolf‘s mocking humor, which was in “Resurrection By Erection”, “Cardinal Sin” and many other songs; church bells, choirs and pretty major riff emphasize this mocking greatly.
Like I said earlier, there is a place for some little experiments in this album: “Blood For Blood (Faodlah)” tells the Irish legend about werewolf and musically the band marks it with bagpipes in the beginning and obvious Folk motives in arranging without losing their own sound, of course. Well, that’s something new for Powerwolf; they haven’t explored this territory yet, if I remember right. Nevertheless, “Varcolac”, which tells basically the same legend from Romaine have no some apparent experiments, there is only heaviness and epic.
Of course it is always possible to add a fly in this ointment and many will do so, I guess: like “Powerwolf release the same music from year to year, repeating themselves” and so forth, comparing them to Sabaton (well, for 40 years it worked well for Motörhead and still works for AC/DC but Powerwolf probably are not legendary enough to compare with them) – I even won’t argue with that. Indeed, Call Of The Wild has some passages, which reminds some riffs or bridges from their previous albums. Also, the band is constraint by their concept but it doesn’t prevent to please their old fans and find some new ones. After all I just love this band so this review doesn’t pretend for some objectivity.
Call Of The Wild will be released on July, 16th via Napalm Records.
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