Powerwolf – Sacrament Of Sin Review
By Adam McCann
Napalm Records/2018/Power Metal
With their instantly recognisable sound, Powerwolf are one of heavy metal’s most distinctive bands. With a sound which is one-part traditional Teutonic power metal and another which is one-part pure Sabaton; Powerwolf exchange themes of tanks, war and historical themes for another eternal struggle, that of Christianity, vampires and werewolves. Deeply rooted in Eastern European folklore and mythology, Powerwolf have created an almost cult following with their well-received albums. It has been awhile since Powerwolf last graced us with the superb ‘Blessed & Possessed’, with the question on the lips of heavy metal fans “how are Powerwolf going to follow that?” and the answer arrived four years later with their latest album ‘Sacrament Of Sin’.
‘Sacrament Of Sin’ is not a million miles away from its predecessor and because of this, the album feels like slipping on a comfortable sweater or a favourite pair of torn blue jeans. This album is full of everything that is expected from Powerwolf, medieval themed lyrics, choral sing-a-longs coupled with driving power metal which demands undivided attention. Because of this, ‘Sacrament Of Sin’ is exceptionally enjoyable, tracks such as ‘Fire & Forgive’, ‘Incense & Iron’ and ‘Stossgebet’ are textbook classic Powerwolf and form the staples of this album. However, with just these tracks alone, it would feel as if the band are treading water, but Powerwolf keep the listener entertained, turning up the heat with the slick ‘Demons Are A Girls Best Friend’ and ‘Killers With The Cross’, yet it is the melodic harmonies of ‘Nightside Of Siberia’ which stand out on this album. ‘Nightside Of Siberia’ although not a million miles out of the bands remit is not a song which would normally sit comfortably in the bands repertoire, yet Powerwolf nail it giving the band a completely different dimension that can also be seen during the beautiful ballad ‘Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone’, a song which has more in common with Sonata Arctica than the classic Powerwolf sound.
As a whole, ‘Sacrament Of Sin’ is more than enjoyable, it is an album which finally sees Powerwolf taking in other influences rather than churning out the same songs time and time again. This makes ‘Sacrament Of Sin’ a very strong album, it perfectly follows ‘Blessed & Possessed’ and be a serious contender for album of the year.
Rating : 94/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann