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'Blessed And Possessed'
(Napalm Records)
Release Date: 17th July 2015

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


German power Metallers Powerwolf spent the early years since their formation in 2003 honing and perfecting both their sound and their image. By album number three they had pretty much got it down, melodic power Metal with catchy riffs and choruses, dark gothic imagery and face paint, an obsession with werewolves and religion, an urge to mix in a church organ wherever possible and underneath it all a sense that this is just an excuse to have some fun.

'Blessed And Possessed' is their sixth full studio album and follows on from 2013s 'Preachers Of The Night' with no more than a few tweaks on the edges of their style. What seems to be important to Powerwolf is to have the songs to back up their chosen style and this album has loads of them. Sometimes they are so catchy that you sense where they're going the first time you hear them yet rather than coming over as predictable you feel glad that they have such a sense of what makes a Metal tune work.

The title track opens the album in fine style with loping, werewolf rhythms and Attila Dorn's trademark powerful, melodic voice soaring over it all. There are sweeping church organ sounds, sections with latin lyrics and some fine guitar work too and everything is just fine in the mad yet satisfying world of Powerwolf.

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There isn't a bad song to be found after that either, whether you enjoy the twin lead guitars and full on double bass drum power of 'Dead Until Dark', the pounding heavy riffing of the almost Primal Fear-like 'Armata Strigoi' or the light and shade of 'Sanctus Dominus' where they show a fine grasp of dynamics and how to bring a little restraint into their sound without losing any of the total Metal sensibilities.

By the time you come to the epic and ambitious album closer, 'Let There Be Night', there is simply no way to resist the onslaught and you can just imagine yourself standing in a field at a festival singing along with the keyboard hookline and punching your fist in the air with the huge, stomping chorus.


In fact similar to Sweden's Sabaton, the music here makes you feel that Powerwolf's natural habitat is on a stage in front of thousands of Metal heads with their horns up. Never having seen the band live I must catch one of their Metal masses soon.

The initial pressing of this album has a second cd with ten covers of songs by bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Unfortunately I didn't get those with this pre-release copy but judging by the version of Gary Moore's 'Out In The Fields' which is officially available on YouTube that will be a lot of fun too.

If you are looking for new and challenging styles of Metal then Powerwolf may not be for you but if you like the idea of taking melodic power Metal and adding attitude, a real focus on quality song writing, some classic riffs, great singing and not forgetting some church organ sounds and a lot of "hallelujahs" then this is an album and a band to check out. With a big grin on your face and horns up \m/

Line Up:
Attila Dorn – Vocals
Matthew Greywolf – Guitar
Charles Greywolf – Guitar
Falk Maria Schlegel – Organ
Roel van Helden - Drums




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