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'The History Of Heresy II'
(Metal Blade)
Release Date: 25th November 2014

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


German power Metal band Powerwolf are celebrating their tenth anniversary and in honour of the occasion earlier this year they released a box set called 'The History Of Heresy' featuring their first two albums with bonus tracks and a live dvd along with a booklet of their history.

Now they are releasing a second box set including their third and fourth albums with bonus tracks plus a third disc of orchestral versions of some of their songs. Of course there is part two of the lavish booklet too.

For the unintiated Powerwolf are musically power Metal in the Sabaton/Hammerfall kind of mould. Their way of standing out, apart from writing some pretty memorable songs, is to do the black and white make up thing like Dimmu Borgir as well as lots of songs and imagery satirising religion.

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This means you end up with song titles like 'Catholic In The Morning... Satanist At Night' and 'We Take The Church By Storm' but unlike some of the Norwegian black Metal bands their tongue is firmly in their cheek. When you go and see them live they call it a Metal mass but really they mean it's just a big, fist pumping power Metal party.

Their 2009 release, 'Bible Of The Beast', makes up the first disc here and a fine example of pounding Euro power Metal it is. Loads of chugging riffs and chantalong choruses all well played and actually quite melodic.

There are lots of wolf references like 'Werewolves Of Armenia' and 'Wolves Of The World' as well as poking fun at religion in 'Raise Your Fist Evangelist' among others and overall it's a great, fun Metal album.

The first bonus track, 'Testament In Black', has Iron Maiden overtones but doesn't suffer in quality compared to the original album material. I can't say the same for the other bonus track 'Riding The Storm' which comes over underproduced and sounds like the outtake it is despite being a cover of a Running Wild tune.

Disc two features 2011s 'Blood Of The Saints' without any extras. I think this is a slightly less complete album than its predecessor. It's not as good sonically and while the songs are similar and cover the same themes as 'Bible Of The Beast' the writing feels more formulaic.

This is just a matter of degree though and there is plenty to enjoy here from the pump your fist and sing chorus of 'Sanctified With Dynamite' to the extremely non-Beatle-like 'All We Need Is Blood'. Closing track 'Ira Sancti (When The Saints Are Going Wild)' is a welcome change of pace with its slower more epic sounding sections.

Disc three is a bit of an oddity to be honest. Five of the band's songs are given a totally orchestral treatment. By that I mean there is no Metal band playing, it's just the orchestra with on some tracks vocals from I assume Attila Dorn in a faux operatic style. Unless you have a particular penchant for gothic orchestral works I don't think that there is much value in the extra disc other than the novelty factor. I'd like to have heard the band doing the songs backed by an orchestra; a missed opportunity to me.

Powerwolf are a great, enjoyable Metal band with some really good songs and huge entertainment value. The additional material included here is slightly disappointing for me but the two albums covered by this box set are both well worth checking out for any fan of power Metal in all its guises.

Line up:
Attila Dorn (Karsten Brill) - Vocals
Falk Maria Schlegel - Keyboards
Roel van Helden - Drums
Matthew Greywolf (Benjamin Buss) - Guitars
Charles Greywolf (David Vogt) - Bass, Guitars


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