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Powerwolf - Call of the Wild Award winner

Call of the Wild
by Kevin Lewis at 10 August 2021, 7:51 AM

POWERWOLF is a German Power Metal band formed in 2003. Incorporating elements of Gothic and Symphonic metal to the sound, they create a massive sound. "Call Of The Wild" is their eighth studio record, released July 16, 2021 via Napalm Records. This is a 3CD beast that includes an entire disc of orchestral versions of the new music and another disc of “greatest hits” with guest vocalists, so there is a lot to love here.

The record opens with “Faster Than The Flame,” an absolute ripper of a song. The fade in, the riff launch, the frenetic rhythm and the vocal grit all power this song from start to finish. The drums are lay down a foundation that is solid enough to hold up this song. The bass is power metal all the way. I hear a HELLOWEEN influence in the guitar solos. All of this adds together to create an epic song.

Dancing With The Dead” starts with a tempo shift that hints of a love of progressive metal. Again, the band is showing an ability to fuse together musical genres that work well as a package. They all have their place, individually and combined. This is how it sounds when they all work together for good.

The Gothic intro to “Alive Or Undead” is well done. The piano with the stringed instruments underneath is epic and you just know there is more to come. The big question is where will it go, heavy or melodic? That is answered when the melodic section powers through your skull with soaring vocals and full-bodied keyboards. This song is lighter on the guitars until the solos kick in. This fits, as does the piano fade out. This is an early favorite on this record.

Blood For Blood” has an almost seafaring pirate feel. That guitar riff, though. The upbeat keyboards belie that riff. The guitars go dark and deep with some very rich tunings. And the ending? Powerful. This is another killer tune that features lots of complex instrumentation befitting the composition.

Need more examples of killer, complex composition? The next two tracks, “Call Of The Wild” and “Sermon Of Swords” are more of the same. Both tunes are catchy, yet hard hitting. Again, this is one of the premier Power Metal bands just doing what they do. Whether the guitars are in sync, doing their own thing or working through dueling solos, they work together to create huge walls of sound. Add in the keys and the rhythm section and you get an immense, beautiful record.

POWERWOLF doesn’t worry about where the bar is set. They raise it at their own desire. They stand in a league of the elite.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Faster Than the Flame
2. Beast of Gévaudan
3. Dancing with The Dead
4. Varcolac
5. Alive or Undead
6. Blood for Blood (Faoladh)
7. Glaubenskraft
8. Call of The Wild
9. Sermon of Swords
10. Undress to Confess
11. Reverent of Rats
Attila Dorn – Vocals
Charles Greywolf – Bass/Guitar
Roel van Helden – Drums
Matthew Greywolf – Guitar
Falk Maria Schlegel – Keyboards/Organ
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 01 April 2023

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