Hot on the lashing tail of the cheesiest of Sharknado films, Powerwolf return with another wolfnado of larger than life proportions. I’m told it’s supposed to be a humdinger, boasting some of the finest power metal, speed, hard rock and unholy orchestra contributions, and Powerwolf kept this firecracker under wraps for near on two years before unleashing it on the unsuspecting public. Upon giving it a spin, I soon discovered that gone are the days of the mischievous “Mr Sinister,” the chugging doom of “Montecore” and hearty anthems with promises of “We Take it From The Living.” Instead Blessed & Possessed continues the band’s pursuit of profit and commercial success, delivering power metal that rivals the speed and pompous ceremony of its predecessor – Preachers of the Night.

The title track is full of blood, piss and fire just as you’d expect from a Powerwolf ditty. What I didn’t foresee was that the track would remind me so much of “Amen & Attack.” This is just the start of a very common vein that runs though Blessed & Possessed. Each slickly delivered anthem reminds you of something the band’s done in the past. “Dead Until Dark” harkens back to “Cardinal Sin” and “Son of a Wolf,” while “Higher Than Heaven” rings out with the striking resemblance to “In the Name of God (Deus Vult).” These are great tracks but I’m not particularly thrilled that they’re being rehashed.

Blessed & Possessed isn’t all about Powerwolf ripping off Powerwolf. “Sanctus Dominus” starts off with some unexpected Avantasia-like symphonic excess before Matthew Greywolf drops a couple of flashy, lycra clad, hair metal-styled guitar solos to please the easy listening masses. “Sacramental Sister” is built on a triumphant opening that feels more like the kind of somber melo-death I expect from In Mourning. With both tracks, as soon as Attila Dorn begins his signature over-the-top croon, things head right back into Powerwolf‘s tried and true wheelhouse.

Powerwolf Blessed and Possessed 02

Attila Dorn sounds as strong as ever vocally, but when you compare his contributions to early albums like Return in Bloodred and Lupus Dei, you can’t help but notice the excessively dramatic commercialized style he’s adopted of late, eschewing the gravelly rumble and the in-check theatrics of Return in Bloodred. The modern production style used on Blessed & Possessed also reminds me of that used on Blood of the Saints and Preachers of the Night. It makes Attila Dorn sound larger than life, and coaxes out the symphonic elements in “Army of the Night” and “Sanctus Dominus” while bringing Matthew and Charles Greywolf’s nimble guitar melodies and the cleanly delivered, well timed beats of Roel van Helden to the fore.

Outside of a few fun moments in the title track, “Army of the Night” and “Sacramental Sister,” Blessed & Possessed does nothing more than prove Powerwolf are spinning their musical wheels. It seems they’ve run out of ideas, and many of their newer tracks feel too interchangeable and formulaic to be a necessary addition to anybody’s playlist. Is this the end of the road for Powerwolf? Only time will tell.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: Powerwolf.net | Facebook.com/Powerwolf
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 07.17.2015

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  • Monsterth Goatom

    Ah, bummer. I loved the cheesy power metal served up on their last two releases. I won’t be sad, as two out of three ain’t bad.

    • Meatloaf could actually save this album.

      • Meatloaf could save any album. Them be the rules.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        No paradise here by the cheese board knife.

        • Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

        • sir_c

          you took the words right outta my mouth

  • brutal_sushi

    Eh, whatever… Two shmoo. Powerwolf still make me bang my head like a werewolf!

  • Kalsten

    This is the closest thing I have heard to “danceable metal” in a while.

  • This album sucks ass.

  • sir_c

    Put this video on while washing up and dishes done in no time :-)

  • Alexandre Barata

    I always enjoy Power Metal without high-pitched, balls-squeezing, cheese-delivering voices, and as it stands out this is far closer to Sabaton than to Edguy, so, for me, it’s a win ;)

  • CarvedInStone

    I have to agree with you review. I really looked forward to this album as Powerwolf never disappointed me before. This is pure creative stagnation. When I first listened to it I though I accidentally put in “Preachers Of The Night” instead.

    • Tanuki

      my thoughts exactly. Preachers didn’t wow me, but this takes releasing the same album twice to new heights.
      What really puts the nail in the coffin though is the feeling that I’ve not only heard it all before, but i’ve heard it all done better on their previous albums.

      • Yeah, that bugged me too.

      • CarvedInStone

        I actually like Preachers a lot and I think it is their best album yet. This is why I’m so disappointed. Not only did I already hear everything they did on this album on the last one, but they did it much better on the last one.

  • Rob

    I honestly get the “creative stagnation” and samey-samey” arguments, and from a purely objective standpoint, that stands to reason. But goddamn if that handful of riffs and hallelujahs isn’t like musical potato chips. Might be the only band I ever give a personal pass to release the exact same album 4 times in a row. I love it. Formula is one thing, and normally I’m the conductor of that hate-train…but when your formula is gothic power-thrash about werewolves charged by God to slay the wicked? Fuck it, count me in forever.

    • MrEvilNES

      Definitely. And they fucking rock live.

      • Rob

        I can only imagine…I’ve been chomping at the bit for U.S. tour for a looooong time but they are apparently uninterested.

  • Dr. Scorpion

    Mr.Druhm has partner in cheese,
    She used to be deadly as volcanic breeze,
    Around her there used to lay a forest of Nebelungian trees,
    But now she roams the land power metal disease,
    Oh Lord save me please.

    -Yours truly
    A delusional arachnid.

    • She also likes nu metal.

      • Oh stop it you!

        • Dr. Scorpion

          Do you like Bloodsimple?

          • Never heard of them. Are they any good?

          • Dr. Scorpion

            It was Tim Williams band after vision of disorder.Not nu metal but i feel it channels a similar intensity.

          • Sounds interesting, I’ll give it a listen.

      • You mean new metal I think.

    • Best. Comment. Ever!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      ha that’s comedy gold! well played sir!

    • Francesco Bordoni

      So… I guess poemlike-comments
      are the new frontier. I’ll just take a moment to express my sheer angry metal love for all you people here above, and say that our coven here at Amg, is the best place for one to be.

    • sir_c

      we need a sphere around this comment. impaled with swords, according to the latest fashion trends that is.

  • Cheesy? Yes. Catchy? Indeed. Is Powerwolf in a rut? I don’t know, but I am certainly enjoying it, rut or not. Bands like Powerwolf aren’t structured to “evolve” (and certainly not in it for their own “White Album” style masterpiece of critically acclaimed music). They are there to scratch an itch. Rather like most Power Metal bands… and no, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. YMMV, but this is a fun album.

    It’s rather like spray cheese. You know it’s processed to hell and bad for you, but it tastes good on crackers. :)

    I for one would give this release a “MOTS and that’s not bad when it comes to the Powerwolf formula”

    “Armata Strigoi” was one of the more toe-tappingly catching tunes. :)

    • CarvedInStone

      The thing is if you pay attention to their music they did evolve. There are a lot of trace elements from their time as “Red Aim” on their debut and as they went on they went farther and farther away from that and turned into the epic cheese-fest Power Metal band we know today. Personally I think they really found their formular on “Bible Of The Beast” and perfected that formular “Preachers Of The Night”. But I don’t see were they can go from here. I’ll guess we’ll find out in two years when the next album is out.

      • But overall, they’re evolution didn’t move beyond Power Metal. It may have been grittier on their debut, (almost like Grave Digger in the vocals dept.) but they still were Power Metal.

        Perhaps if you want to quantify their evolution, you could say they’ve become quintessential power metal.

        • CarvedInStone

          I honestly don’t know if I ever want them to evolve beyond Power Metal. I know that one on hand that goes against my criticism of the album sounding like their last one but I really can’t/don’t want to imagine Powerwolf doing Prog, Thrash or adding a screamer in the mix.

          • That’s a good point. I don’t think it’d fit them. I think they have perfected (or rather, found their “groove” within Power Metal)…. and that’s fien with me. :)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Video looks like outages from their last one as well!
    I still can’t help but like these guys.

  • madhare

    The embedded song reminds me a lot of some of the songs on Sabaton’s Carolus Rex. …actually so much that I’m just thinking they’ve ripped off Sabaton. Which isn’t bad in itself, but there’s little point in ripping off something and delivering an inferior product. (And, no, I’m not even a Sabaton fanboy.)

  • Never got Powerwolf, it’s so buttock rock. The live performance of theirs that I caught was tepid.

    Lordi meets Sabaton, minus creativity?

  • basenjibrian

    This is both awesome and somewhat boring, to be honest. Looks like the video designer has supped at the Church of Nergal a bit. Song seems to drag on a bit, though.

  • Troy Putland

    There is only so many times I can hear him say ‘Santa Maria’ and Haleylooya (don’t know how to spell it! Def a disappointment compared to Preachers of the Night.

    • King Aurthoar, Dragon Puncher

      It’s spelled Halleluja, and I don’t know where you’re getting at. “Halleluja” has always been a favorite word of theirs, and it’s used in almost every single album, if not song, they’ve ever produced.

  • 517H

    Any plans for you or Steel to review Ghost Ship Octavius? Would like to hear what you guys think…

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Forgive me for saying this….but I expected this to be a black metal album, since you reviewed it Madam. But this is just “Black as Cheese”! A damn lot of it!

    • The remainder of the month should amuse you then, plenty of black metal to go around :)

      • Doomdeathrosh

        hopefully some good ones in there.

  • disqus_IeDSkkzRXc

    HALLELUJAH is great and dramatic to sing.. just don’t put it in every. other. song.

  • King Aurthoar, Dragon Puncher

    Me being a huge fan of Powerwolf, this album hit me hard, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Most of the songs sound unorginal, mostly to their older songs. Attila also seems to fail to bring his voice to the higher pitches that I enjoyed so much in their past albums. I will agree that A-Dorn’s voice sounds extremely powerful in this album, but I’ve never been into voices that seem to be stuck around the same pitch.

    TL;DR; Atilla’s vocals are booming like they never have before, but the songs feel cliched and I miss A-Dorn’s Primal Fear-esque screams.