Released: 2013, Napalm Records
Like clockwork since forming Powerwolf has put out a new full-length studio album every two years; ’05, ’07, ’09, ’11, and 2013. Powerwolf is among the leaders of a new, young, hungry and productive generation of Power Metal bands. Following on the heels of the massive, global Power Metal explosion in the mid 90’s with bands like Hammerfall, Primal Fear, Kamelot and Symphony X, this new breed have been following up 7-10 years later and churning out some really high quality straight-up stuff. I’m thinking of bands like Bloodbound, Sabaton, Burning Point, Iron Fire, Iron Mask that have a slightly heavier sound than some of their happier counterparts in the Helloween/Stratovarius stream. These are subtle shades but Powerwolf is among the elite of this new wolfpack.
OK, enough name-dropping, PREACHERS OF THE NIGHT is another superb album. After four-album stint on Metal Blade (with a slightly disturbing lack of promotion of the band in North America) Powerwolf make the jump to Napalm Records seamlessly, with the exception of a change in drummers from Tom Diener to Roel van Helden. The band is still doing the whole ‘Catholic Werewolf’ thing which is a really awesome and original concept. I think after five albums they have really solidified their signature style and hope they don’t mess with it, change for the sake of change is never good, especially after creating something so unique and interesting.
The band have plenty of good humour to spare as evidenced by the clever title, a play on the 1982 Kiss album of similar name. The lyrics are pretty dark and the mix of Latin, German, English and chanting make for a very cosmopolitan sounding vocal attack. The vocals of Atilla are as still commanding as ever as he provides the lyrics with a really forceful delivery almost overshadowing the others as the vocals are still mixed up high, but you have to lead with your strengths! Opening cut ‘Amen And Attack’ is classic Powerwolf and could have fit on any of the other albums. The haunting church organ is omnipresent and it really makes for a dominant sonic wash across all the cuts. The songs vary in tone, tempo and atmosphere but always circle back to those soaring vocals and gang choruses that infect your blood.
PREACHERS OF THE NIGHT is as strong as any album they have done and they show no signs of slowing down which is a testament to the depth and character of the song-writing with five albums in nine years. Very few bands have the knack of writing such consistently engaging songs come chorus time; only Rage and Sabaton come immediately to mind. Sorry, more name-dropping. Powerwolf is a beast that runs wild in the night and is truly the leader of the pack.