Powerwolf

Preachers of the Night

Written by: EW on 29/08/2013 22:20:34

Teutonic power metal titans Powerwolf are back and if you were already tired of their explosive, anthemic, sugar-coated ditties to werewolves, religion and the night before now then I'm afraid nothing here is likely to sway you. This is pure bombast; low in subtlety, self-awareness and variation but equally high in humour, big choruses and the kind of production standards that leave nothing to the imagination. Even myself as a self-avowed anti-power metal metalhead was won over by the pure cheese of "Bible of the Beast" - heck, since Manowar have long got lost in the recesses of their own arses I'd argue Powerwolf's case for being metal's 'Kings of Cheese' - but on "Preachers of the Night" the formula is beginning to wane and the songs find themselves less varied and just less interesting than the band's earlier material.

Opener "Amen & Attack" sets a great opener - from the introduction riff at 15 seconds the song blasts along and peaks with a great chorus that is purpose-built for live singalongs. The musical structure of the song's 4 minutes is indicative of the album as a whole - the guitars are predominantly a buzzing chugging blur of mid-level palm-muted rhythms aside from odd moments when they rise for brief, fluttering leads; laid atop is a full-fat church organ (read: keyboard) performance providing a good deal of the epic-ness Powerwolf specialise in; and the vocals of metal's own Pavarotti, Attila Dorn. His powerful baritone pipes lend the band an air of musical credibility and a focal point for the ascending choral sections, which seem to be all pervading across the album - to think of these songs with a less capable and dominating singer than Dorn would render them rudderless. Penning the kind of lyrics Powerwolf specialise in to compliment this massive asset makes natural sense; the vampiric and religious tomes sound relevant yet fantastical, much more so than they do so for the equally conceptual Ghost and their weaker vocalist, Papa Emeritus.

Musically speaking however Powerwolf do little to challenge even the first time listener across "Preachers of the Night" - the homogenous structures are borne out by the song lengths which vary from just 3:21 to 4:16 for all eleven songs (I'm excluding the gothic rain and bells which close the album in "Last of the Living Dead"). One can easily imagine "Nochnoi Dozor" as part of a nervy film score but then "Secrets of Sacristy" is just too much Dragonforce for me to take seriously. Once the invigorating pomp of "Kreuzfeuer" is nullified by the repetition of "In the Name of God" and "Lust for Blood" it appears the band's appeal previously lay in being power metal without sounding it; unfortunately "Preachers of the Night" has the malaise of resting too much on it's laurels without a desire to expand any horizons. Still, the mark that follows would be a lot higher if I was judging based on live potential of that there is no doubt.

6

Download: Kreuzfeuer, Amen & Attack
For The Fans Of: Dragonforce, Avantasia, Ghost
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 19.07.2013
Napalm Records

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