Powerwolf – Preachers of the Night
While discussing Powerwolf, I feel a certain disclaimer must be present. Each album released by Powerwolf, starting in 2005 with Return in Bloodred to Blood of the Saints in 2011, progressively got more and more outrageous in lyrical themes and imagery. Along with the growing religious messages, the band increasingly used more epic song writing, bringing the keyboard to a near lead role in some cases. The fans of Powerwolf must know and understand that the music themes are all in fun, and lighthearted in nature. It’s heavily drenched in religion, and far-fetched tales of werewolves and vampires. While being one of the heaviest power metal bands around, but still recording and releasing songs like “Resurrection by Erection” one would hope the eerie, theatrical, yet almost cheerful nature of the music would be obvious. Not a soul on this planet could survive a drinking game trip through their discography if they had to take a shot at every mention of “God”, “Satan”, “Wolves” or “Blood”. (I also owe the band my thanks for teaching me how to count to four in German, which sounds much more bad ass than English). However, outside of the somewhat comical exterior, Powerwolf is a band that deserves to be taken seriously as talented musicians, and has proven the right to that respect over the years by consistently delivering amazing power metal with a gritty edge.
Preachers of the Night proves to be their most epic and groundbreaking record thus far, definitely living up to the hype it’s received. Just as expected it is full of haunting melodies, choir arrangements, and flawless song writing. The lyrical themes are heavily based in the churchly realm, but a band so obsessed with werewolves could not ignore the religious roots in those myths.
The only thing missing from this release is that familiar organ and spoken word opening track that previous albums had featured. However, the album kicks off with an explosive song “Amen & Attack” which was also released as the album’s first single and video. The song features drumming and string work worthy of an established thrash band. Despite the corny chorus, this song is seriously heavy while retaining that mythical atmosphere thanks to the heavily layered vocal components.
The strongest moments on the album are in “Sacred & Wild” and “Kreuzfeuer”. Throughout both tracks I experienced this never-ending chill down my spine. Between the amazing vocal lines throughout and the eerie keyboard accompaniment, my senses are overloaded and I am absolutely enthralled. It’s at this point in a typical album where I run into a track or two necessary of skipping. This is just not the case. Each and every song is entertaining and gripping. The speed never lets up, until the album closer, “Last Of The Living Dead” which features sensational choir presence and orchestration that sounds straight out of the middle ages. The pace is slower, but it is a constant roller coaster of build-up, then letting go. It’s absolutely beautiful, but for lack of a better adjective, it’s just so metal!
What I am trying to get at here is that the album just doesn’t let up. All of their previous material has been well-balanced between the hard and heavy tunes with the down tempo and more melodic tracks. Powerwolf perfectly kicked it up a notch, demanding respect from all kinds of metal fans throughout the diverse sea of genres. They have proven with Preachers of the Night that they are not just “some other power metal band”. They are capable of kicking your ass as well. For all of the old Powerwolf fans such as myself, all of the hype you have been creating has been well deserved. And to all of the new fans, reading this, unsure of what to think… buy this album! It will change your life.
Hail the Wolves!