Archive for Powerwolf

Iza’s Highlights of 2018

Posted in Alternative, Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2018 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again! Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year I have decided to do just one list rather than two separate ones for metal and non-metal. The main reason for this is that there have not been too many industrial/EBM releases that caught my attention this year. So without further ado, here are my top ten albums of 2018:

1. Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin
Genre: Power Metal
Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German power metal wolves are back with a new album. And what an album it is!! I honestly cannot get enough of it. It may not be very profound as far as the themes go but it is hell of a lot of fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘Fire & Forgive’, ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Nightside of Siberia’.

2. Lord of The Lost – Thornstar
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Industrial Metal
Image result for lord of the lost thornstar
I absolutely adore this band. They combine the best of dark rock with Gothic metal and Deathstars-like industrial metal. ‘Thornstar’ has to be their greatest and most complex album to date. In order to fully understand the concept, I would recommend that you download the 21 paged ‘Thornstar backstory’ from the band’s website. It’s a fascinating read that offers some insight into Pangaean history and culture. Alternatively you can simply enjoy music. Stand-out tracks are ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’, ‘Haythor’ and ‘Black Halo’.

3. Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Behemoth are back with their long-awaited new album. As I mentioned in my review, this is not ‘The Satanist part 2’ but rather a mixture of both old and new Behemoth styles. It takes a few listens but once you get into it your patience will be rewarded. Stand-out tracks are ‘Wolves ov Siberia’ and ‘Bartzabel’.

4. Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/Oriental Metal
閃靈 - 政治 / Battlefields of Asura
My favourite oriental metal band are back. Their latest album might not be a memorable as ‘Bú Tik’ but it has its moments. Music-wise it offers more of Chthonic’s unique blend of melodic black metal, death metal and oriental folk music with the addition of some choirs and guest vocals from the Cantopop singer Denise Ho. Stand-out tracks are ‘A Crimson Sky’s Command’ and ‘Millennia’s Faith Undone’.

5. MONO Inc. – Welcome to Hell
Genre: Gothic Rock/Dark Rock
Image result for MONO INC WELCOME TO HELL cover
More Gothic rock…’ Welcome to Hell’ is my favourite MONO Inc. album to date. Their music is essentially melodic hard rock but it also has this wonderful, eerie Gothic feel. Stand-out tracks are ‘Long Live Death’, A Vagabond’s Life’ and Reign of Rats’.

6. Grimner – Vanadrottning
Genre: Folk Metal/Viking Metal
Grimner - Vanadrottning

I had the pleasure of reviewing this album earlier this year. It’s been a long while since I’ve heard any folk metal that was this good. I would recommend this to fans of Finntroll, Ensiferum and Månegarm. Stand-out tracks are ‘Vanadrottning’ and ‘En Fallen Jätte’.

7. Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence
Genre – Death Metal
Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence
My kind of death metal and my favourite death metal album of 2018. It is hard to pick out a stand-out track since in all honestly I like them all but ‘Kingdom of Fire’ and ‘Maelstrom’ are the ones that stuck in my head the most.

8. Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik
Genre: Industrial Metal/Groove Metal/Extreme Metal
Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik
‘Satanik Germanik’ is Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest and most metal album. As mentioned in my review it is darker and more serious than the material from the “Fukken Über’ era, much like its predecessor ‘Black Forest Metal’. Luckily that does not make it any less fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘I Am Bad Luck’ and the party song ‘Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell)’

9. Scandroid – The Darkness
Genre: Synthwave
Image result for scandroid the darkness
One of the few electronic releases that made it to my top 10. ‘The Darkness’ is the third album from Klayton (Celldweller/Circle of Dust)’s synthwave project Scandroid. Delightful retro synthesizer tunes, a little guitar and melodic vocals all with a futuristic feel. Stand-out tracks ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Red Planet’.

10. Auger – The Awakening
Genre: Darkwave
Image result for auger the awakening
A new discovery for me. I really enjoyed Auger’s show at Lumous Gothic Festival 2018. This British dark wave duo combine the best of darkwave and Gothic rock. I would recommend their debut album to fans of Blutengel, Gothminister and The Vision Bleak. Stand-out tracks are ‘Monster’ and ‘My Guardian’.

Honourable mentions:

Xentrifuge – Desensitized Parallels, Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods, Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary. All good albums but with only a few outstanding tracks they missed out on a space in my top ten list.
IAMX’s latest album ‘Alive in The New Light’ also came out of the start of this year. While it didn’t make my top ten I did enjoy it, especially the track ‘Mile Deep Hollow’.
Check out the video here:

Best live show of 2018: Helloween live at South Park Festival in Tampere.
Biggest New Discovery: Auger
Most anticipated albums in 2019:
Blutengel – Un:Gott
Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Also hopefully new albums by Helloween and Rammstein.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

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Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 24th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Powerwolf
The Sacrament of Sin
Released 20th July 2018
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German wolfpack have returned. Even before hearing the music I had to take a few minutes just to admire the album title – ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. How ironic, ludicrous, perhaps even blasphemous, yet so very typical of Powerwolf. Ever since discovering this band I’ve always liked their song titles. Unlike their Swedish brethren Sabaton, these guys like to add some humor to their lyrics. You won’t find too many epic tales inspired by historical events in their songs but there will be werewolves, other horror themes, references to religion, theatrical and grandiose vocals that occasionally mimic a church choir.

Let’s start with my favorites, the songs that have been in my head for weeks even before the album was released thanks to the videos. My personal favorite Fire & Forgive is just classic Powerwolf doing what they do best. Catchy chorus, check. Bombastic orchestration, powerful vocals and ultra catchy guitar riffs, check. Latin chants and church music in the background, hell yes! Fire away guys! Then there’s the fabulously titled Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend. To call the lyrics cheesy would be a gross understatement. They’re not even cheesy, they are syrupy, dripping with ultra sweet, sticky ‘wickedness’. As with anything sweet it would probably be better in small doses but who can resist the temptation? Oh, and the video; I haven’t seen anything as ridiculously funny since Blutengel’s ‘Reich Mir Dir Hand’. Yet laugh as I may, every time I hear it or watch the video it doesn’t change the fact that I still find myself singing along and playing it repeatedly.

There were a few moments on here where the music reminded me of Sabaton. Incense & Iron is an example of this, not just because of the lyrics such as “Stand, Follow the fight..”
It’s also war-themed and keyboard driven and features a touch of folk metal due to the bagpipe sounds. The only surprise comes in the form of a piano ballad called Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone. This not unusual for Powerwolf; they have made songs like this before, but on this album it definitely stands out due to the slower pace and overall style.

Overall, I have really enjoyed ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. There isn’t a song on here that I dislike though some are more memorable than others. It’s more consistent than their previous album and it is up there with their best works. Powerwolf fans will be pleased and if you’re new to the band this works as a good introduction.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Powerwolf announce new album title

Posted in Metal, News with tags , , on 12th April 2018 by izaforestspirit

The German wolfpack have returned…

Powerwolf have just announced that their new album, the follow-up to ‘Blessed & Possessed’ will be called ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. The release date has been set for 13th July 2018 via Napalm Records.

You can check out the cover art below:

No automatic alt text available.

For more details go to:

http://www.powerwolf.net/

https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal/

Powerwolf announce tour dates for 2018

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 16th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

The German power metal band Powerwolf are currently working on their next album, the follow up to ‘Blessed & Possessed’. The title hasn’t been announced yet but their fans will be pleased to know that they are embarking on a European tour in  2018.

Starting with a few festival performances in the summer including Graspop and Sabaton Open Air.

Live

Then the “WOLFSNÄCHTE TOUR” will start in Wiesbaden, Germany on 26th October 2018. They will be supported by Amaranthe and Kissin’ Dynamite. For the full schedule see the poster below:

No automatic alt text available.

More dates coming soon. For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal/

http://www.powerwolf.net/

 

Powerwolf live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , on 19th October 2016 by izaforestspirit

Civil War, Powerwolf
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
18th October 2016

It’s a while since I’ve been to a metal concert. The last time I saw some metal bands live was at Tampere Metal Meeting festival a few months ago. Now summer is over, it’s getting darker and colder and the leaves have all but fallen… I’ve never really suffered from the autumn blues as each season has its good points. Autumn means that Halloween is soon upon us and what better way to celebrate it then with some über-theatrical and ultra cheesy, horror-themed power metal brought to Finland by the German extravaganza that is Powerwolf.

First up was the Swedish power metal band Civil War which features former members of Sabaton. I was intrigued by them precisely due to the connection to Sabaton. Yet what I heard turned out to be different to what I was hoping to hear. Like their world-renowned countrymen, Civil War’s lyrical themes revolve around various historical events and they play heavy metal. But that’s where the similarities end; their music is slower with an emphasis on ballads and story-telling rather than catchy battle tunes for the mosh-pit. 2.5/5

Luckily Powerwolf were worth the wait. I’m not too familiar with their music but after that show I can safely say that I’m a Powerwolf convert. Their show was exactly what I like to hear from a power/heavy metal band – full of theatrics, ‘pomp and circumstance’ , songs about priests, religion, werewolves, vampires and chanting in Latin. Yes, just like most bands of this genre, their music is cheesy as hell but damn entertaining. The highlights included: ‘We Drink Your Blood’, ‘Dead Boys Don’t Cry’, ‘Army of the Damned’ and ‘Blessed & Possessed’ (the title track of their new album). 5/5

 

In summary I wasn’t too impressed with Civil War’s performance but I really enjoyed Powerwolf. It’s rare that a band impresses me this much during a performance, turning me into a fan of their music practically overnight. It happened last year with Helloween and now in 2016 with Powerwolf.

Iza Raittila

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 3rd July 2015 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Powerwolf
Hammer of The Witches
Released July 2015
Werewolf Metal/Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

586_Powerwolf_CMYK

Powerwolf have rose to fame over the last few years due to their lyrics and imagery, both of which aren’t usually found within the power metal genre. Blessed & Possessed is the band’s first album to be released through Metal Blade (Providing you don’t include the History of Heresy releases) and the band’s sixth studio album.

The album is opened up immediately by the title track, Blessed & Possessed, which begins with a rather tragic introduction that would put even Shakespeare to shame. This introduction is followed by a flurry of riffs and organs with soaring vocals. The chorus is easily memorable, hooking itself into your memory. Dead Until Dark contains the typical Powerwolf lyrics but greets you with an onslaught of guitar melodies and poignant vocals.

The guitars and organs make for perfect dance partners in Army of the Night, with some very NWOBHM sounding passages. Armata Strigoi focuses on vampires and allegedly is Romanian for “Undead Army”. The intro comes across as very grandoise and majestic as the instruments parallel one another throughout the song. We Are The Wild has some similarities to Sacred & Wild, but it also has its differences. The vocals appear to march at a different pace to the instrumentation but this works out in the favour of Powerwolf.

Higher Than Heaven is a fast-paced, action-packed song that refuses to take prisoners as guitars are unsheathed and lay proverbial waste with their jumping riffs. Combat & Christ is a well coordinated attack between the guitars and organs, with reinforcements from the drums. The vocals have a commanding element to them, as a story is sung of the First Crusade. Sanctus Dominus (Latin for Holy Lord) is very much like a hymn during in the chorus but there is a dynamic use of vocals that echo throughout the track.

Sacramental Sister sounds like it was influenced by Iron Maiden‘s Hallowed Be Thy Name as the opening riff shares a common sound with that song. The track is composed of a masterful combination of instrumentation and vocals,  with some energetic moments here and there. All You Can Bleed displays a very poetic use of the band’s talents, release short but sweet fumes of darkness in preparation of the final song. The album closes with Let There Be Night. The song’s atmosphere is laid out by the orchestration and vocals, painting a dusky image with a sombre sound.

Powerwolf are still at the top of their game and Blessed & Possessed will show the world that the wolves of metal are still the alphas of the pack with no sign of slowing down. With elements borrowed from their previous releases and new sounds brought in, Blessed & Possessed is a highlight in Powerwolf‘s discography.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Powerwolf online:

http://powerwolf.net 
http://facebook.com/powermetal

Battle Beast have a message for their UK fans and also a new lyrics video

Posted in News with tags , , , on 17th September 2013 by Pieni

 photo bbeast_zpsbc9025b1.jpg

As we told you before (read here), Battle Beast will be joining their label mates Ashes Of Ares in support of the upcoming European tour of Powerwolf. This tour includes a show in London (27th September, The Underworld Camden) and so the Finns filmed a short message to their UK fans about this gig:

Promoting their self-titled second album, released last May via Nuclear Blast, a lyrics video for the track “Over The Top” has been posted online a few days ago:

You can order the CD here:
CD – http://smarturl.it/BattleBeastCD
iTunes – http://smarturl.it/BattleBeastiTunes

Battle Beast online:
http://www.battlebeast.fi/
https://www.facebook.com/battlebeastofficial
http://www.myspace.com/battlebeastband
https://twitter.com/BattleBeast

Nuclear Blast Records online:
nuclearblast.de
facebook.com/nuclearblasteurope
@nuclearblasteu
@nuclearblasteurope
youtube.com/user/NuclearBlastEurope