Powerwolf - Metallum Nostrum - (8/10)
Published on August 11, 2015
It seems to become growingly popular to record EPs or whole albums of cover versions and use them as a bonus for various limited editions. Amon Amarth had gone down the route of writing four songs in the styles of some of their biggest influences with their Under the Influence EP that had accompanied Deceiver of the Gods and German masters of dark power metal Powerwolf also were not content with just having their latest highflyer Blessed and Possessed sit there all alone and hammered out ten cover versions of bands that influenced them during their career so far, titled Metallum Nostrum.
Production values are, as to be expected, top notch, so that the songs can receive the undivided attention and the Germans manager to walk on the thin line between keeping the original’s character intact and putting their very own stamp on it, which obviously is made easier with a singer as characteristic as Attila Dorn. Another element Powerwolf add to the songs is their use of the keyboards to add atmosphere, which works pretty good overall as well.
The maybe biggest surprises on Metallum Nostrum are “Power and Glory”, where it would be easy to expect Saxon’s classic, but this is a version of a somewhat underrated German band named Chroming Rose, which had its probably biggest rise to some sort of fame with their debut album Louis XIV in 1990 and its title track, the same album this track is from. The other one is “Gods of War Arise”, which is the second clear-vocal cover version of an Amon Amarth song after Sabaton had given “Twilight of the Thunder God” their spin three years ago.
All in all the versions are well executed and adapted and it is good to see that a band is able to cover the mighty Savatage and do the song justice, as in the case of “Edge of Thorns”, as well as the good adaptation of Amon Amarth’s powerful melodic death metal sound, even though admittedly the chorus shows a few surprising details that seem to be working better with Hegg’s bellow, overall still a worthy addition to this compilation.
Metallum Nostrum is a very entertaining and well done collection of cover versions of some of Powerwolf’s influences, which could very well sell as a stand-alone album, but it will be a collector-sought-after item, unless Napalm decides to release it independently later on. Not only recommended for Powerwolf fans, but also those of well-crafted covers!