Album review: POWERWOLF – The Sacrament Of Sin

Napalm Records [Release date 20.07.18]

Powerwolf are back with their seventh album, or as the band would put it their latest set of psalms! They have been building on their fanbase with each successive release and tour – they are certainly worth seeing live if you get the chance – to a point where they have hit albums in their native Germany.

‘Fire and Forgive’ and ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ provide a dynamic duo of songs to open the album with. The former utilizes the band’s use of church organ and choral effects, whilst the latter is one of the ‘poppiest’ tunes Powerwolf have done. That’s pop as is in a very catchy melody, as the guitars and rhythm pound away underneath the keys and Atilla Dorn’s classically trained vocals which soar above the music.

‘Incense and Iron’ looks set to be a live favourite I am sure, whilst ‘Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)’ gives Sabbaton a run for their money. Matthew Greywolf gets plenty of solos into the songs, nothing flash just the right length each time (not one song on here reaches the five minute mark).

The band have a little treat in the shape of the band’s first ballad, ‘Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone’ which is a heavy beast. Starting off with piano and vocals, the song builds nicely adding strings before the whole band joins in on a stirring chorus.

Like Sabbaton and Ghost (who have seen a meteoric rise that now sees them headlining the Royal Albert Hall later this year), Powerwolf are a Marmite band you will either love or fail to see what all the fuss is about. Mind you, even those who profess they don’t like the band would be hard pushed to deny such songs as ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ are damn catchy and enjoyably tunes. Powerwolf will please their many fans and gain a fair number of new ones with this album. Power metal to the max and gloriously OTT. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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