A relatively undiscovered band until recently, Powerwolf exploded onto the metal radar proper with their 2010 performance at Bloodstock, hot on the heels of 2009’s release, Bible Of The Beast. Twisting Christian dogma around bellowing organs and epic choir arrangements, Blood Of The Saints explodes on to the scene with a unique twist on the stagnating power metal template.
Powerwolf are totally unapologetic about their overblown grandeur, Sanctified With Dynamite begins in the album in terrific fashion with a pounding chorus that is completely removed from anything else you’ll hear in 2011. At it’s heart it’s true power metal, complete with gimmick; werewolves if you hadn’t guessed. Not that the band name or titles like Night Of The Werewolves gives it away or anything.
Speaking of that particular track, it’s perhaps the sole offering that begins with an actual quiet-ish intro before exploding with a melodic hook that is everything that Powerwolf stand for; songs with words like ‘sacrament’, ‘testament’ and ‘filadent’ (vague tooth related pun fully intended) encased in melodic hooks. BotS is the third mainstream offering that the band have released so far, and the standard was set extremely high with it’s predecessor, and in 2011 they do not disappoint. Phantom of the Funeral once again takes the tongue in cheek slant on religious references and combines it with a truly belting refrain and something that might almost be played in a major key.
If there is one slight criticism of BotS, it’s that it’s incredibly similar. The issue, of course, is that a band with a pretty unique sound is always going to struggle to keep it’s fan base hooked and release consistently high quality material, something that DragonForce failed to do. While they haven’t excelled themselves, BotS is as infectious as lycanthropy under a full moon and just as deadly.
Would’ve got a ten if they’d sent me a pope hat.