Powerwolf, for those who are unfamiliar with the German quintet, are a power metal band who write about over the top religious imagery and of werewolves and demons. They also do it with a grandiose tongue in cheek and the last 3 albums ‘Bible of the Beast’, ‘Blood of the Saints’ and ‘Preachers of the Night’ have been entertaining to say the least. Clean production makes the most of operatic vocals, harmony guitars and church organs. Unfortunately I was expecting more of the same from the first two albums that make up the “History of Heresy” box set which comes complete with a 110+page book, a dvd and some collectors cards all in a fancy box.
The first disc which contains the first album “Return in Bloodred” which, to be honest, is really poor. It is full of cheap power metal tricks like adding in “oh oh ohhhhhhh” to make a sing along out of a song that has no back bone or original ideas. The lyrics are terrible and not even terrible in the cheesy power metal way that makes the genre so endearing, they’re just awful. I found myself quite bored with it. The only two passable songs on it are “Demons and Diamonds” and “Montecore.”
I wasn’t really expecting much from the second disc which contains “Lupus Dei” their second album and initially I was correct to be sceptical. Then, third track in ‘Prayer in the Dark’, comes forth the conviction and powerful sound that this band have built up to match their heavy imagery on-stage. This is what the began the road to the next three albums being so strong. One of the best things about Powerwolf for me is their sense of atmosphere and that thankfully sets in through ‘Saturday Satan’ , ‘In blood we trust’, ‘Behind the leathermask’ and ‘Vampires don’t die’.
Power metal is fantastical in nature and I feel like a lot of the magic comes from being over the top and slightly silly, if its worth doing it is worth overdoing and thankfully Powerwolf realised this too. If this boxset is well priced(which looking at the website it seems to be) for fans of the band it would be worth buying. For those new to the band maybe check out Bible of the Beast first, if you like that get the box set and only listen to “Lupus Dei.”
Verdict: Two albums and a live dvd with a collectors style box that only has one good album and a dvd.