Powerwolf: Preachers of the Night review

\"Powerwolf\"Power metal continues to be a genre that divides audiences across the globe, with a loyal following on one hand, and those who perceive it as over dramatic and unnecessarily flamboyant on the other. Regardless of divides and opinions, there is no denying its rightful place amongst the most recognisable genres we’re presented with, and now stepping forth with their latest offering, Preachers Of The Night, Napalm Records very own Powerwolf have got their sights firmly set on pushing the genre higher and louder, and making it their own.

Over the last few years, Powerwolf have achieved unprecedented success, entering the German metal charts for 3 weeks, being rated “Ascenders Of The Year” by the German Metal Hammer crew, and having had their album ranked as “Power Metal Album Of The Year”. Describing their latest offering as “…a truly catchy and intense album”, Powerwolf have put together Preachers Of The Night and packed it with intensity, furious musicianship, and of course, epic heaviness. Albums aside, the band are equally at home on the live front, having already played the likes of Bloodstock, Wacken, Sumer Breeze, Graspop, Metalcamp and Metalfest, suggesting that Powerwolf have got some serious ability tied up in their ranks.

As Preachers Of The Night gets under way with Amen & Attack there’s no denying that this is power metal through and through, launching into a melee of choral vocals before unleashing the true fury of Powerwolf upon the audience. Packed with dramatic guitar lines and rolling drum work, the bass heavy undertones of the opening moments here mark a return to classic power metal, a place where drama and packed arrangements rule supreme, and a place where melody is key. Catchy as well as powerful, the band continue to push out their unique blend of orchestral laden metal through Secrets Of The Sacristy and Coleus Sanctus, offering up crescendo after crescendo of soaring lead lines, hammering rhythm sections and layered vocal lines.

Standing out as a literal representation of the style of music you can expect from Powerwolf, Cardinal Sin stands out as a serious high point on the record, offering up everything you could possibly expect from a record such as this, from dramatic vocal lines through to rolling drums, soaring lead lines, orchestral organ arrangements and an overwhelming sense of catchy power. Other key moments are presented in the stunningly powerful Nochnoi Dozer and the equally as dramatic Exatum Et Oratum, but on an album such as Preachers Of The Night every track is a gem in its own right, showing that Powerwolf have taken on the power metal torch, and are running with it.

Think of power metal and normally images of DragonForce , Stratovarius or Blind Guardian come to mind, but based on Preachers Of The Night,  Powerwolf could be about to eclipse them all – a band to get out to see for sure, and an album that if you like power metal, you’re going to love.

Rating: 9.5/10

-Dave Nicholls