Powerwolf - 'Blood Of The Saints' (metal blade) 5/5
I've got a real soft spot for the big Teutonic epic power-metal stuff. I've loved it ever since I first discovered the likes of Helloween and Mercyful Fate way back in the 1980's (Yes I know MF are Danish, but lets not split hairs here). I was over the moon when Dignity scooped our Album of The year award a few years ago with their Project Destiny album, and just when I was getting a bit fatigued by the endless wave of metalcore wannabes I was being sent, along come the mighty Powerwolf to remind me, and the world in general that metal is at its best when given the vast epic treatment.
This is the fourth album from these Germano-Romanian gods of steel, and it is faultless. From the atmospheric opener of Angus Dei to the closer of Ira Sancti (When The Saints Are Going Wild), Blood of The Saints is one full on, gloriously over blown, epic work that is as vast in concept as it is in delivery. Choirs chant layer after layer of harmonious backing vocals, church organs duel with freak out guitar solos and the middle of it all, standing like proud metal guardians of the wolfs den of rock are the band themselves, laying down some of the best epic metal thunder I've heard since Manowars Triumph of Steel album.
Like their earlier releases there are lots of Werewolf references on this album, and there is nothing at all wrong with that, the world needs a lot more Lupine-metal anyway. But it isn't all howls at the moon stuff. There is a wonderful cleaver and tongue in cheek approach to the lyrics, just check out Sanctified By Dynamite, Dead Boys Don't Cry and Murder At Midnight to see exactly what I mean.
I've had this album for a few weeks now, and I just can't stop playing it, over and over at very loud volumes (my neighbours must love me). I'm sure if you give this album one play through you'll be doing the same.
One of the best metal albums of the year so far.
For Fans Of... ManOwar, Mercyful Fate, Dignity, Helloween, Turisas etc