Powerwolf – “Blessed & Possessed” (Napalm Records)
If you’ve never heard Powerwolf then you truly must be in holy damnation, else you will no doubt be reveling – nay slavering like a hell hund – to get your paws on this 6th chapter in the bible black of the ‘wolf! “Blessed & Possessed” is not just the band’s most mature release but also their best bar none, bringing together all their experience in their 12 years of touring and composing. This is so good you could be forgiven for thinking this was a best of compilation such is the immense hit potential of the 11 tracks herein, but in reality it attests to the strength of the band in not just doing what they do best, but doing it even better than before! No frills, no effects, no concepts, just straight up tongue in cheek singalong songs with addictive catches and deep, epic hooks all skillfully arranged to get any metaller (actually anyone) breaking into song, frantically air punching and dancing irresistibly – seriously, I challenge anyone to defy the overwhelming power and charms of songs like ‘Armata Strigoi’, ‘Dead Until Dark’ and ‘Army Of The Night‘. From chivalrous keyboard melodies to cavalier guitar solos all brought together with unforgettable epic rhythms, Attila Dorn’s opera metal vocals spew forth tongue in cheek Latin lyrics backed by choirs and orchestrations guaranteeing this marvelous album is in my top 10 for this year. This band just goes from strength to strength and not even silver bullets can stop them!!!