There are some discoveries that rock the world. There are some personal discoveries that change lives…one of my recent personal discoveries happens to be Germany’s POWERWOLF. I purchased the album only on its cover art, knowing nothing about the band or their music. Boy, I was surprised. Coming off as a combination of SABATON and RUNNING WILD, the Power Metal experienced on “Blood Of The Saints” is a rompous fun time and quite the fist pumping effort. One that blew my socks off.
POWERWOLF perfectly display the ideology of “greater than the sum of its parts” on “Blood Of The Saints”. To be honest, none of the elements of this band are the best at what they are: the riffs are solid but rather run-of-the mill Power Metal structures, the melodies are rather simplistic if not catchy, the keyboards are delightfully Gothic, and the drums/bass do their average best at keeping up the tempo. Even the vocalist seems to pull quite a bit from the gruff-Power style that GRAVE DIGGER or RUNNING WILD made popular. This is not what makes “Blood Of The Saints” so good – its how it all works together in its efficient and cheesy writing.
The almost religious like tones of chanting and Gothic keyboards give the album a great atmosphere while Attila Dorn’s vocals hiss, wail, and catch the ears with vigor. Musically, POWERWOLF seems to blend it perfectly, crafting memorable track after memorable track of headbanging anthems like “Sanctified With Dynamite” (with its great chorus) or more traditional melody driven tracks like “Murder At Midnight”. The combination of traditional sounding Power Metal with their werewolf-laden themes and Gothic tendencies is simply lethal on the ears – never letting go despite the length of the release.
In days when Power Metal has been increasingly hit or miss in quality, POWERWOLF’s “Blood Of The Saints” breathes life into its classic sound driving home qualities that make its rather basic parts into a whole album of infectious writing and performances. It’s a must have for fans of the melodic side of Metal and those who require a bit slice of cheese with their music.
Songs to check out: “Sanctified With Dynamite”, “Murder At Midnight”, “Die, Die, Crucified”.
(Online February 4, 2012)