Album review: Powerwolf – The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event

German power metal troupe Powerwolf’s The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event completely lives up to its name…

Album review: Powerwolf – The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event
Jordan Blum

Near the end of 2021, Powerwolf held a characteristically theatrical and aspiring live streaming event that’s been dutifully captured here. Broken into four chapters (Temptation, Sin, Confession, and Forgiveness), it’s an impeccably performed and meticulously crafted overview of their career whose filmic qualities elevate it to superlative heights.

Naturally, the quintet focuses on tracks from their last two original LPs: 2021’s Call of the Wild and 2018’s The Sacrament Of Sin. Amongst the best inclusions are the bombastically medieval Faster Than the Flame, the triumphantly inspiring Incense & Iron, and the relatively poppy and playful Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend. Gratefully, there’s also Blood For Blood (Faoladh) and Glaubenskraft to add a few moments of relief in-between the band’s almost unfaltering rebellion.

While there’s nothing from their first two albums (which might be disappointing for admirers who’ve been here from the start), there are several gems from Powerwolf’s mid-period output. Namely, Resurrection By Erection is always a bit of fun, just as Cardinal Sin serves as a solemn yet flamboyant display of musicianship. Then, Amen & Attack is a showpiece for their choral heft and six-string prowess.

That said, the visuals and overarching presentation are what really take the release to the next level. For one thing, variations of the Monumental Mass Theme bookend the 80-minute show (as the prologue and epilogue), so the whole affair feels epic and dramatic. Plus, the use of impassioned actors, magnificent stage sets, stylish direction, and the like bring the music – as well as the theological storytelling of mastermind Matthew Greywolf – to life.

The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event is a must-see experience. As much a play as it is a concert, it’s surely among the most ambitious and captivating metal shows ever produced. Even non-Powerwolf fans will be mesmerized by it.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Sabaton, Falconer, Twilight Force

The Monumental Mass… is released on July 8 via Napalm

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