Blessed and Possessed European Tour 2016 – Scandinavian leg
Civil War – special guest
14/10 – 2017
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
With their brand album BLESSED AND POSSESSED, Powerwolf is out on a quest to conquer Europe. The album was released last year but in August the band released their live DVD THE METAL MASS, which clocks in at about 7 hours. Now the band thought it was time to travel to Scandinavia and visit Sweden, Denmark and Finland. For some reason the band left Norway out on this trip. The Swedish metal act brought label mates Civil War along as special guests and to be honest, I visited the show primarily to see Civil War. Civil War hasn’t really toured in Sweden and since Copenhagen is only a trainride away, I decided to once and for all go over and see the band. I arrived a few hours early before the show in order to meet the band and it was really cold outside with wind blowing and rain falling.
Pumpehuset is a nice venue that includes two concert halls, one on the bottom floor that holds about 400 people, and one on the second floor that can take 600. The doors were to open at 7 and about 6.30 a short line formed outside. Since it’s not allowed to bring in bags or backpacks, you have to leave them and your jackets in the wardrobe. This night’s show took place on the second floor and because it was about 20 minutes until the hall opened, I took a look at the merch stand where Powerwolf was selling a hell of a lot of T-shirts. I realized it was going to be hard to take pictures tonight because there wasn’t a photo pit and the Danish audience is usually pretty hardcore.
Civil War is from Falun, Sweden, put together by ex-Sabaton members. The guys recruited one of the best singers in the world in Nils-Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors), as well as bass player Stefan “Pizza” Eriksson to complete the band. The band inked a deal with Swedish label Despotz Records and released an EP back in 2012 titled CIVIL WAR. The full-length debut, THE KILLER ANGELS, was released the year after and quickly reached golden status in Sweden. The band started to tour and in 2014 guitarist Petrus Granar joined the band. In May 2015 the band signed with Napalm Records and unveiled their second album, GODS AND GENERALS. As first single “Bay Of Pigs” was released, guitarist Oskar Montelius and Eriksson left. Civil War chose to keep things running with the remaining members and haven’t added a bass player or guitarist yet. The band announced on Facebook that drummer Daniel Mullback wasn’t going to be a part of the show this night because he is out moose-hunting so they had brought in Stefan Norgren (Seventh Wonder, Faceshift). Apparently Mullback would be back for the remaning shows in Scandinavia. At the end of September, the brand new studio album THE LAST FULL MEASURE came out, along with a lyric video to “Road To Victory” hitting the nations on the 4th of November.
Not many people were in the club when it was time for Civil War to kick off their show; I thought more metal heads would be interested in seeing the band.
The band entered the stage with singer Johansson the last to enter. The show opened with “USS Monitor” and proceeded with “Saint Patrick’s Day”. Even though the band played without a bass player, the stage was pretty crowded and the only one who actually had some space to move around was Johansson. This night the band consisted of:
Nils Patrik Johansson – lead vocals
Rikard Sundén – guitar
Petrus Granar – guitar
Daniel Myhr – keyboard
Stefan Norgren – session drums
Johansson said it was nice to be in Copenhagen and asked if he should talk in Swedish or English, choosing English just to be sure that everyone was going to understand what he was saying. He asked if the fans wanted to hear more and fired off “Braveheart”, taken from GODS AND GENERALS. All members wore military coats and looked like they were a part of the US Civil War. Johansson wore a General’s coat while the rest wore simple soldiers coats. Johansson tried to get the crowd to clap along in the songs but that didn’t work out well. “Gettysburg” and “Gods And Generals” followed and while the sound system worked great, the lights were worse, with all the lights centered in the middle of the stage which made the rest of the band perform almost in the dark.
As always Johansson sang like a god; what a voice that man has got! He is without a doubt one of the best singers in the world today. The rest of the band were great and backed him up perfectly, however if felt weird that there wasn’t any bass player on stage. Myhr introduced the next song and it was “Schindler’s Ark”, which began with a keyboard intro. It was really fun to see the band live and I can’t understand why the band doesn’t play more shows. The stage got quiet when Johansson took a sip of water, then the fans started to clap their hands, shouting the band name over and over again. Johansson returned to the mic, saying it was time for Copenhagen to take a trip to the “Bay of Pigs” in which Johansson had the audience scream for him in the middle of the song.
Johansson introduced the band members in Swedish after which he changed back to English when he said, “You all know “I Rule The Universe”. It felt like the fans had finally woken up and they did as Johansson told them and screamed and clapped their hands in the songs. Johansson thanked them for the applause and said the band had one more song to play in “Rome is Falling”, after which Johansson and the band once again thanked the audience and said it was soon time for Powerwolf to take the stage.
The 50 minute show left me longing for more because it was so good and solid as a rock. The musicians were all great and Johansson was amazing. The set list was quite good but I wished the band had performed a few more older songs from the debut album. Also, why didn’t the guys try more songs from the new album? I have nothing but great things to say about Civil War though! i hope that the band starts to play in Scandinavia more and not only out in the rest of Europe as they mostly do.
Saint Patricks Day
Gods And Generals
I Will Rule The Universe
Bay Of Pigs
Rome Is Falling
A change of stage gear followed as Powerwolf dressed the stage in huge backdrops, both at the back and on the sides. Eagles were placed in front of the keyboards, as well as on each side.
Powerwolf was formed by the Greywolf brothers. The band is known for having dark themes and image, both musically and lyrically. They play power metal and uses corpse paint, singing about Romanian werewolf and vampire legends as well as dark religious tales. The band has been active since 2003 and have released six albums. Just like Civil War, the band is contracted to Napalm Records and I guess that’s why they were together on tour. It took about 30 minutes to get everything in order and then it was time for Powerwolf to kick off their show.
The band walked on the stage to the tones of the intro “Lupus Daemons” and the fans gave the members a warm welcome. The guys put on their instruments and fired off “Blessed and Possessed” and went straight into “Coleus Sanctus”. Dorn asked if the fans was ready to hear and see Powerwolf for the first time in Denmark and thanked them for the amazing support the band received. “Even though there are a lot of other bands performing in Copenhagen tonight (The Cure sold out Forum), you still chose to come and see us!” The 400 fans clapped their hands and “Amen and Attack” followed. The band’s line-up is:
Attila Dorn – lead vocals
Falk Maria Schlegel – keyboard
Roel Van Helden – drums
Matthew Greywolf – guitar
Charles Greywolf – guitar
The Greywolf’s used the boxes placed on stage to stand on while playing and once again it felt a little strange because, just like Civil War, Powerwolf didn’t have a bass player(!). All three front men moved around on the stage and sometimes even Schlegel joined in at the front. Dorn asked if the fans wanted to fight together with them in “Sacred and Wild”; instead of pure power metal I’d say the music is rather a light version of power metal with a lot of keyboards in it.The way Dorn sometimes chants his words makes me think of Ghost. The band seemed to be having a great time on stage along with the fans and Dorn thanked the audience many times for their great support. It was time for a mass in “Army of the Night” and the fans chanted the band’s name heavily throughout the show. When it was time for “Resurrection By Erection” Dorn had the fans shout “erection” and they all followed Dorn’s command. Dorn instructed the fans to sing with him in “Armata Strigoi” and had to guide them in the way he wanted them to sing. He wanted all the ladies in the venue to sing one part of the song and then it was the guys’ turn to sing. Since the majority of the crowd was made by guys it was no surprise their part went the best.
In the middle of “Dead Boys Don’t Cry” Schlegel ran out on stage waving flag. There were two keyboards available for Schlegel to use, placed in front of the drums and each one had a strange looking animal in front it them. I don’t know what it was but it was a mix of a lizard/eagle or something. Dorn thanked for the applause and said it was nice to be performing in Copenhagen. “Let There Be Night” followed, then Dorn divided the crowd into two parts and said it was time for them to sing again. First Dorn took care of the right side and Schlegel the left and then they switched. “Werewolves of Armenia” followed and even though the venue wasn’t sold out, the temperature was pretty hot by now. Dorn said the band was here to host a heavy metal mass because “everyone in here loves heavy metal right?”, he asked, and the fans all shouted “Powerwolf!” repeatedly. Both fans and band gave their all in “In the Name of God (Deus Valt)” and it didn’t seem to matter to the fans if the band played older or more current songs, they all sang along and clapped their hands either way.
Dorn asked if the fans knew what the band was drinking, and the fans all shouted back “Blood!”. Dorn asked if the fans were ready to sing along in “We Drink Your Blood” and that song truly lit the crowd to a maximum. The fans took on the chorus so loudly that they almost overpowered the music. The band was really tight and Dorn’s a great front man that really knows how to handle a crowd. Dorn chanted and sounded almost like a pope when he said that this was the first time they were in Copenhagen and showed with his hand that he wanted the fans to shout louder. He said the band was there because they are possessed by metal. “Are you possessed by metal?”, he asked, and the fans shouted louder. “Here comes the last song”, he said, and it was time for “Lupus Dei”. The Greywolf brothers stood at the top of the stage beside the drums and it was once again time for the fans to sing along. The band thanked the fans and that ended the 70 minute show. The crowd shouted for encores and almost instantly the band came out on stage again. On each side of the drums fires were lit. The intro “Agnus Dei” was heard all of the members were “Sanctified With Dynamite” as the first encore. Dorn said that Copenhagen didn’t want to wake up with “Saturday Satan”, which the fans sang along to. Dorn thanked the fans and said that without the fans the band isn’t anything; “we are all were a family now, do you want to hear more songs or are you tired yet?, he asked. “What do we all need?”, he asked, and the fans shouted “Blood!”, and the next encore “All We Need is Blood” followed. That ended the show and Dorn said the band was always going to remember this first show in Copenhagen. He asked the fans to stay around and take some pics with the band after the show. Powerwolf has performed a lot in Sweden during the past few years and it’s strange they haven’t stopped by Denmark before this.
Altogether lasted the show for 90 intense minutes and from what I could see and hear, both band and fans were happy with the night. The band did a great job and even though I wasn’t actually there to see Powerwolf, I have to say they impressed me. The amazing stage scenery framed the music perfectly and the fans loved what they saw and heard.
Powerwolf will hit Europe at the beginning of 2017 together with Epica and Beyond The Black. If you want to hear and see more of the band they are already confirmed for Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany next year so I guess they are going to do festival performances during the upcoming summer.
When this review is out the brand new album by Civil War will have been released; it’s called THE LAST FULL MEASURE. Run out and buy it.
Lupus Daemonis (intro)
Blessed And Possessed
Amen and Attack
Sacred And Wild
Army Of The Night
Resurrection by Erection
Dead Boys Don’t Cry
Let There Be Night
Werewolves Of Armenia
In The Name Of Gods (deus valt)
We Drink Your Blood
Agnus Dei (intro)
Sanctified With Dynamite
All We Need Is Blood
Wolves Against the World (outro)
Thanks to Mona Miluski head of promotion for Napalm Records for the help with press/photo-pass to the show.