Powerwolf // Preachers of the Night
Rating: 4.0/5.0 — Wolfish to the max!
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: Facebook.com/powerwolfmetal  | Myspace.com/powerwolfmetal
Release Dates: Out Now!

492_powerwolf_CMYKWho’s up for a wolfnado? Hit play, go on I dare you. The wolf-pack’s back and as luck would have it, I freed up just in time to safely pry Preachers of the Night from Mr. Druhm’s steely, far too cynical grip! For those of you that don’t already know and love Powerwolf‘s brand of heavy power metal, they go for your throat with canines bared. Locking on with the speed and catchiness of HammerFall (Glory to the Brave era), with uncomplicated melodies, simple riffing and hugely delivered, shout-along choruses similar to those of Sabaton all the while capturing some of the atmosphere of King Diamond. For this their 5th full-length release, the wolves and the eagle unite, with Powerwolf moving away from Metal Blade to join the ranks of Napalm Records.

I first fell under front-man Attila’s charm in 2011 with the release of Blood of the Saints. The album spoke of werewolves and vampires straight from Romanian folklore and the ironically told tales of dark religion and corpse paint, fascinated me to the point where I had to seek out every single Powerwolf release. Needless to say when I heard rumors of Preachers of the Night being brought to life, my excitement reached the point of un-freaking-containable! The last eight years have seen some changes in Powerwolf‘s instrumental style. Return in Bloodred brimmed with stripped-down metal that overpowered you with Sabbath darkness, Death SS theatrics and tasty Mercyful Fate inspired riffs; Bible of the Beast went huge with fist pumping anthems choc-full of orchestrations and Blood of the Saints pulled back on the orchestrations achieving more of a balance between symphonics and heavy metal. Preachers of the Night continues on from where Blood of the Saints left off, but with more whirlwind “Amen & Attack“.

WolfAlthough Powerwolf are by large a German band, they don’t sound like your run of the mill German power metal. This is mostly because of the huge vocal power of Attila Dorn. He has an impassioned, dramatic, theatrical approach that comes from his background singing and acting in the Romanian opera [i.e. he’s a big canned ham coated with cheese Steel “Overly-Cynical” Druhm]. His forceful vocal style (reminding me at times of Sabaton‘s Joakim Brodén) gets your blood pumping and your head banging on tracks like “Secrets of the Sacristy”, “Coleus Sanctus”, “Nochnoi Dozor” and “Lust for Blood”. The lyrics on Preachers of the Night follow the same formula as Blood of the Saints, spiked with puns and cheese, they’re uncomplicated with repetitive choruses that are easy as pie to remember – go on, shout along at the top of your lungs, you know you want to!

Instrumentally these tracks play out more like an opera made for the stage. Falk Maria Schlegel takes you on a vivid, horror tinted, atmospheric journey with his keyboard contributions. They’re far less the focus here than on previous Powerwolf offerings, but still add that touch of 70s era church organ to Powerwolf‘s sound.

powerwolf-2013-1The Greywolf brothers have packed the album with fun, sweeping, flashy guitar riffs that gallop along. They’re not particularly original or complicated, sometimes they even feel re-used, but they’re upbeat, precise and well played. Check out the fur flying in tracks like “Amen & Attack”, “Coleus Sanctus”, “Nochnoi Dozor” and “Cardinal Sin”. The brothers fiery guitar work is only somewhat rivalled by the flamboyant attack of Roel van Helden’s brazenly heavy-handed drumming on tracks like “Extatum Et Oratum” and “Lust for Blood”. Best you prepare to have your hearing mauled by these wolves!

If you’re looking for a more stripped-down Powerwolf album that’s brimming with interesting, blood-drenched, dark riffs then hunt up Return in Bloodred (“The Evil Made Me Do It” and “Black Mass Hysteria”). With Blood of the Saints and now Preachers of the Night, Powerwolf have become more consistent in their sound and all that really differentiates the two albums is the hyped up speed on Preachers of the Night. It’s a welcome display of dark merriment that will satisfy die-hard fans like myself looking for a continuation of the grand Powerwolf adventure [Avoid if you have pork or dairy allergiesSteel Druhm].

  • AndrewRC

    I’ve decided that Powerwolf is a cross between Sabaton and Disturbed (unfortunately). Every album is the same, every song is the same. It’s dumb and slick. I like them though. Like McDonalds, I cannot help myself sometimes.

  • Piet

    Amen and Attack sounds great. I loved pretty much every song on blood of the saints and I’m sure I’ll love this album too.

  • Angel of Deaf

    Wasn’t expecting to see Powerwolf getting a review at AMG, even more surprised to see such a high score, it’s a really nice album though and Attila sounds amazing once again.

    • We review any kind of metal here. I reviewed their last one back in 2011 or so. We’re all inclusive!

  • MeatWolf

    This one is really bad. Really. Blood of the Saints was a sparkle of hope on the horizon with such fresh (well, as much as something can be fresh with Powerwolf now) tunes as e.g. We Drink Your Blood (The Jewel) or Son of a Wolf. The other tracks were on quite a high level as well. Now this time the wolves jumped back to the swamp of stagnation and even the switch from Maiden worship to Helloween worship didn’t quite help it. I’ve heard it trice and I really can’t point out a single track. Everything sounds quite mediocre and and yes, we’ve heard it in their previous albums quite a lot of times. Some bands manage to pull it off with circling around the same ideas and basically I don’t see anything bad about such tactics but to me, this is absolutely not the case. Well, didn’t have many hopes about this one so I’m not really disappointed.

    P.S. At least they spared me buying the Altar edition!

    • Wow, they even lost the Meatwolf vote!

      • MeatWolf

        No kin support, alas.

  • Dominic Markert

    i really can’t see why this album gets so good scores across the board. I absolutely loved Bible of the Beast and found Blood of the saints kinda okay, but this record bores me to death. Yeah of course, some really good melodies here, some nice ironical lyrics there, but nothing compared to, say “Catholic in the morning…”, “prayer in the dark” or “Panic in the pentagram”.

    I don’t know, maybe I’ll give it a few more spins and things get better.

    • Madam__X

      It took a couple of plays and watching the video for the album to grow on me as much as it did – it’s infectious like that!!

      • hardysponge

        The y do have these occasional “hoo – haa” shouts that remind me of cheesy Disco band Dschinghis Khan!

    • Realkman666

      I haven’t been impressed by what I’ve heard so far. I don’t know if I’ll buy it.

      • Madam__X

        Which of their earlier work caught your attention?

        • Realkman666

          I thought Blood of the Saints was cool, but the previews for this seem a bit more bland. Maybe they’re less exciting because I’ve heard them before. The switch from Iron Maiden rip-off to Helloween rip-off made me chuckle a bit too.

  • Darryl Smith

    Powerwolf are awesome, glad to see a I am not the only one.

    • Madam__X

      Haha no you’re not alone there, they are awesome :)

  • hardysponge

    This album is good fun. I do get the Sabaton vibe and I quite like the Meat Loaf-ish theatrics. I also smell Running Wild (pirate era) and a few other teutonic bands. Not so sure about the corpse paint outfit.

    • Madam__X

      Death SS? They were a surprise find – more coming through on them shortly :)

  • Bruno Picinini

    As a power metal, hard rock and punk rock fan, I accidently walked into Coleus Sanctus playing and simply LOVED IT. It felt very original to the power metal side of me that has grown quite bored of all the the usual Helloween-like bands. Fuck yeah, It feels awesome to discover a brand new cool band.

  • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

    They’re cheesy as hell, their lyrics are silly as hell and their music is unoriginal and derivative. They rock too! This record is tongue-in-cheek fun, loaded with short, zippy songs made just for headbanging and singing out loud. Don’t take it seriously and rejoyce for the happy time you’re giving to your inner child =)

    • Madam__X

      Agreed :)