Hallelujah! Powerwolf are back! For those who are already Powerwolf fans, yes the pun was intended. For those who are not, well let’s just say the word Hallelujah crops up pretty frequently in the bands’ lyrics. But I digress, the gorgeous priests of Power Metal have returned with their latest effort, Blessed & Possessed. It wasn’t until after I returning from my festival holidays that I finally managed to check out the album, but better late than never. Since their debut album, 2005’s Return in Bloodred, Powerwolf have not strayed too far from their signature sound. But has the band delivered another spiritual tour de force?
The first song on the album, title track ‘Blessed & Possessed’, blasts out with operatic Latin chants which then explodes into skull crushing drumming and stunningly melodic guitars. Twelve seconds into the song, if you’re aware of who Powerwolf are, then you most certainly know what to expect with their religiously catchy tunes; again pun intended. Whether you’re pleased with their consistency or walk away with disappointed is up to you. If you’re popping your Powerwolf cherry, welcome to the dark side. Believe me, you will enjoy it. One of the singles taken from the album, ‘Army Of The Night’, is certainly one of the most catchiest metal songs I’ve heard in recent years. During their rendition of the song at Wacken Open Air festival, I couldn’t stand still, and I may have partaken in some booty shaking. Sorry not sorry. My ears warmed up further when the song ‘Sacramental Sister’ started. Though the title of the track is mentioned many-a-time during the song, the music itself is very upbeat and the guitar solos literally raised the hairs on my arms. It may seem like a relatively straightforward power metal track but it still packs a punch. ‘Let There Be Night’ is a standout track from the album and honestly one of the best songs I’ve heard in years. The slow tempo and musical arrangements brings each member of the band into their own spotlight to do what they do best and creates a dark yet beautifully magical ending to what is essentially a dramatic ‘in your face’ album.
The other songs in between are somewhat mediocre, which reflects on my overall opinion of the album. Like other additions to Powerwolf’s discography, it is a well-crafted wall of powerful distorted guitars, mind-boggling organ/keyboards, thundering drums and unique operatic vocals; often featuring a background choir. The whole album feels like a church sermon, which in itself may sound terrible but if it was a church and Powerwolf were giving mass, I would certainly start going to church more. We can only dream!
Overall, ‘Blessed & Possessed’ is an easy album to recommend to fans of the genre and the band alike. Effectively, it is like listening to any other Powerwolf album. But if their formula is so unique and effective, why change it? To me it is not an issue, and I am more than happy to continue listening and love this band for everything they do. I urge anyone who hasn’t seen them in action before – please, PLEASE go and watch them at a gig or festival. You will not be disappointed.
And for the last time – HALLEUJAH.
Check Out: Blessed & Possessed, Army Of The Night, Let There Be Night
If You Enjoy: Sabaton, Orden Ogan, Van Canto
1 – Blessed & Possessed
2 – Dead Until Dark
3 – Army Of The Night
4 – Armata Strigoi
5 – We Are The Wild
6 – Higher Than Heaven
7 – Christ & Combat
8 – Sanctus Dominus
9 – Sacramental Sister
10 – All You Can Bleed
11 – Let There Be Night
Released: 17th July 2015
Label: Napalm Records
Attlia Dorn – Vocals
Matthew Greywolf – Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Charles Greywolf – Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar
Roel van Helden – Drums
Falk Maria Schlegel – Keyboards