Powerwolf – “The Sacrament Of Sin” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Returning in time for the next full moon is the 7th album from Germany’s most famous lycanthropes! If you never heard these nutters barking before then get ready for so much catchiness lacquered with cheese you’ll find yourself irresistibly howling along to massive melodies, addictive choruses and possessive singalongs that have taken Powerwolf from a sometimes ridiculed underground band to being a headline festival act across Europe. “The Sacrament Of Sin” continues in the same expected winning formula although this time the band are trying out new things too. On ‘Demon’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend’, Falk Maria Schlegel’s keyboards lead the prominent melody along with some creepy sounds that lend to Lordi especially when Attila Dorn delivers the huge singalong in fine operatic style. Seriously giving Sabaton a run for their money on ‘Incense And Iron’ with stirring warrior choruses and a medieval marching rhythm, Dorn pours in his soul to raise more than a few drops of sweat on the eyebrow of Joakim Brodén as well as probably raising it in keeping to Powerwolf’s occult (if tongue in cheek) theme. Then there’s the ballad. I guess it was almost inevitable given 6 prior releases but I have to say that thanks to Schlegel’s epic keyboards and Dorn’s stellar performance along with the spirited solos from the Greywolf brothers ‘Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone’ doesn’t come across as lame but more of an epic song with an abundance of passion. Heading into darker territory is ‘Stossgebet’, a heavy symphonic piece with prominent German vocals and gothic electronica which once again the band pull off extremely well, clearly showcasing the members’ talents perhaps to answer their early critics. Thankfully old time fans haven’t been forgotten and the rapid fire title track ‘The Sacrament Of Sin’ with its double bass drumming, massive church organs and huge singalong melodies led by Dorn’s soaring vocals has all the glory of the past, cemented by closer ‘Fist By Fist’ which is even more classic Powerwolf with its rhyming lyrics, dramatic melodies and yep, you guessed it, monster chorus made to decimate open air audiences the world over!!! Definitely their most diverse album to date with variations and new elements, but commendably pulled off by still keeping to the band’s core sound, Powerwolf’s 7th album is another red blooded feast that will satiate the hunger when the full moon is arisen.