Album review: Powerwolf – Call Of The Wild
If you’ve never heard Powerwolf before, imagine Sabaton but instead of tanks all the songs are about creatures of the night and instead of body armour, it’s jerkins and corpsepaint. They’re certainly not for everyone but, if you are already a fan these purveyors of preternatural power metal, the good news is that all the familiar elements are not only present on Call Of The Wild but turned up to 11.
So opener Faster Than The Flame starts with a slow operatic build before exploding into a speedy yet melodic metal anthem. Beast Of Gevaudan follows a tolling bell into a historic tale of terror complete with banks of slicing synth and a gargantuan chorus enhanced by gang-chant backing vocals. The symphonic elements that were really pushed forward on The Sacrament Of Sin carry on where they left off and only serve to make the band even more bombastic – in the best sense of the word. No metal band around today is more grandiloquent than Powerwolf in full flight and there are times when even the aforementioned Sabaton sound comparatively understated.
There are a couple of newer ingredients on Call Of The Wild. Blood For Blood (Faoladh) bringing in Irish instrumentation and a folky motif, while Alive Or Undead is only their second big power ballad, following in the pawprints of Where the Wild Wolves Have Gone. The album is very wolfish in general, covering lycanthropic legends from around the world, with all the usual religious imagery thrown in. Undress To Confess provides the salacious wink a la Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend but in general this is Powerwolf at their most epic. And it simply doesn’t get any more epic than that.
For Fans Of: Sabaton, Gloryhammer, Helloween
Call Of The Wild is released on July 9 via Napalm.