Gig review: POWER WOLF London Underworld Friday 27th September 2013

To the Underworld and another night when they cram four bands into a tight time frame. I wish they would stop this, yes its great to give bands some exposure but it means fewer songs for the headliner.

Majesty were a very clichéd Manowar worshipping band and sorry but not cup of power metal tea!

Battle Beast (named after a rather good PC game from a few years back perhaps?) are another quality band from Finland with a female vocalist and a metal sound that owes a lot to bands like Iron Maiden and Accept. Not heard anything prior to tonight by them but was impressed by what I heard and a very lively set.

Ashes To Ares I have left to my esteemed colleague John Stefanis as they are not a band I liked much to be honest.

Power Wolf were plugging their rather good new album ‘Preachers Of The Night’, an album which made number one in the album charts in their native Germany. Good turn out too and it seems power metal is still clinging on in the UK, where it has never really takn off as big as it is over in mainland Europe.

With vocalist Attila Dorn (Karsten Brill) the band have something pretty unique as he hits the high notes with a classical singer’s range and in his mad preacher stage garb cuts a menacing figure. Any set that starts with a song called ‘Sanctified With Dynamite’ you know is going to be good and the band had the crowd going from the start. Personal highlights were ‘Amen & Attack’ with its monster riffing and ‘Prayer In The Dark’. The band are good at mining lyrical themes based around religion and werewolves, perfect topics for a power metal band. Even the drum solo was made bearable with a snippet of Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller’!

Two encores, ‘Raise Your Fist, Evangelist’ and a simply awesome version of ‘In The Name Of God’. Power Wolf are one of the best power metal bands I have seen and they have the ability to appeal to metal fans outside of the power metal genre and hopefully their UK profile will grow. An appearance at Bloodstock or a Hard Rock Hell next year would perfect for them.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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