Powerwolf - Preachers of the Night (Napalm Records)

More of the same? Don't mind if I do!
Release Date: 
19 Jul 2013 (All day)

Attila Dorn is back! And, perhaps more pertinently, he’s sounding exactly the same as he was last time he was here!

Possibly a bit cynical I know, but if there’s one band currently treading the boards that never ever let their fans down and give them exactly what they’re expecting time after time after time then it’s German power metal lunatics Powerwolf. And I ain’t complaining either, however much of the mickey I appear to be taking. Some sterner critics than I in the world of heavy metal reviewage are proclaiming Powerwolf to be a busted flush; for them the joke has worn thin, and the constant recycling of melodies and riffs by a band now in its fifth (full length) album cycle has become a matter for some concern and no little chin rubbing. I say bollocks to all that; Preachers of the Night may well be more of the same, but when ‘the same’ is three quarters of an hour of unrestricted singalong metal warfare, replete with organ licks JS Bach would kill for and a latin-inflected chorus line that the Pope has been trying to get transferred to the Vatican for nearly a decade then what, really, is there to complain about? I’ll tell you – nothing.

Actually, to my mind there are one or two little differences here… The overall feel of the album is somehow more martial, more regimented and less hell for leather than last album Blood of the Saints; it’s almost like the band has had some sort of Sabatonish serum injected into their veins, resulting in some mighty fine, mid paced crunch to go with the more usual double-kick fuelled madness that usually links the choruses to the solos. It’s a small but effective change, but for me the biggest plus on Preachers… is the excellent Kreutzfeuer; Sung in the band’s native German, it’s an excellent pause in the usual operatic overkill and is something the band should seriously consider doing more of in the future. Sure, English may be the lingua franca of heavy metal but it doesn’t sound as downright heavy metal as German!

So, all in all there’s little here that will attract you if you’re not already a fan – this is power metal pure and simple with no let up and no apology for being anything but – but if you’re the sort of person who likes what they know and know what they like then you’ll be listening to this a fair amount over the next few months I’d say.