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Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The Sacrament of Sin
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 13 August 2018, 7:50 AM

Germany’s POWERWOLF are nothing if not consistent; when they release a new album, their fans know pretty much what to expect and what it will sound like. This is a double-edged sword. While there is something to be said for a band who knows exactly who they are and what they want to do, it also gets kind of old for a band to make the same album over and over. For those who may be uninitiated band, what is it exactly that you should be expecting?  A super tight Power Metal band with a focus on darker themes than most of their brethren and a very thematic, somewhat Black Metal, image. Combine all this with lyrics that speak of dark religious themes, demons, werewolves, and Romanian legends then what you have is a Power Metal band with, well, lots of power behind them.

Fire & Forgive,” opens with church bells, chanting, and sweeping keys before the crack of thunder cascades across the night and the band opens up with the power and familiar voice of vocalist Atilla Dorn.  Although he doesn’t sing in a falsetto, he is very operatic in his approach. He has a unique approach in his vocals were he sings but it also sounds like he is preaching a dark sermon, more than fitting for this band.  “Fire & Forgive,” is a great opening track because it contains every element that makes the band great.  Not the least of those elements is Falk Maria Schlegel’s keys that are as essential to the band, even more so than other Power Metal bands that use keys.  A large part of their “dark church” sound is because

Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” is, in case you couldn’t guess with a title like that, super corny but the band plays so tight and Atilla delivers his lines with such conviction that the hokey aspect doesn’t matter one bit.  I love the all the way riffs and keys during the stanza’s play off each other, a common aspect of the band.  The instruments always work well as one powerful machine, skewing showboating for the sake of songwriting. “Stossgebet,” has strong Gothic elements, including very deep vocals of Atilla.  It is a very creep song and it shows a somewhat different dimension of the band.  Where’s that song is more of a slow burn the next track, “Nighttside of Siberia,” is a more straight-ahead song, with actual riffs some of which get speedy before the catchy chorus comes around.  The GREYWOLF brothers certainly have the ability to write decent Power Metal riffs and I really appreciate they don’t use their considerable talents to take the band too far into melodic or prog territory, as that helps the band retain their darker image.  That isn’t to say they can’t play melodic when need be; the title track and “Venom of Venus,” both feature some melodic goodness, especially in the guitar solos.

The seventh full length of this German powerhouse is yet again a solid effort of darkened Power Metal that should please their many longtime fans.  There isn’t anything here that totally reinvents their sound nor anything that will make someone who doesn’t like them change their mind.  In the end, despite all their talent and catchy choruses, every album has sounded basically the same.  Within those albums, and this one, the songs tend to run together.  Despite being a bit monotonous, POWERWOLF always write solid material and this album will continue to grow their legend.  I just hope it eventually grows into something that sounds a bit different or stretches their sound.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Fire & Forgive
2. Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
3. Killers with the Cross
4. Incense and Iron
5. Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone
6. Stossgebet
7. Nightside of Siberia
8. The Sacrament of Sin
9. Venom of Venus
10. Nighttime Rebel
11. Fist by Fist (Sacralize or Strike)
Charles Greywolf – Bass, Guitars
Matthew Greywolf – Guitars
Falk Maria Schlegel – Keyboards
Attila Dorn – Vocals
Roel van Helden – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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