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powerwolf callofthewild
Artist: Powerwolf
Title: Call of the Wild
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 16th July 2021
Label: Napalm Records


Album Review

When I started listening POWERWOLF’s latest release ‘Call Of The Wild’ the sound immediately took me back to their fantastic show at Metalfest Pilsen. POWERWOLF have such a strong signature sound, that you recognize their song immediately and only few bands reach this level. ‘Call Of The Wild’ is the bands eight studio album within more than 15 years and every album sounds a bit different but always like POWERWOLF.

The German Metalheads can be looking forward to a strong new album, that starts with a dramatic orchestral Intro that leads over to POWERWOLF’s signature sound with the first vocals and the double bassdrum really seems to strive to be ‘Faster than the Flame’. The guitars build up a massive wall of sound that is backed by a keyboard and the melody might be on your mind for a while, as well as the chorus. The next song was released as the first single of the album and I must admit that ‘Beast of Gévaudan’ is a catchy kind of song. The lyric parts are dominated by Attila’s excellent voice, that is underlined by guitars that are tuned so precise that they seem to give them the exact dose of heaviness. But don’t get me wrong, this is not a song that take it slow, the drums and riffing are straightforward, though the massive choir that underline the chorus reduce the speed a bit. ‘Dancing with the Dead’ takes it a bit slower by POWERWOLF’s standards, the chorus part is really enchanting and the music is prone to harmony, a song that might not be typical for POWERWOLF, but a very good one.

The fan favourite of a live show will be ‘Varcolac’. The rhythm invites you to use your neck muscles, the tension builds up via an increasing stomping rhythm and the dark wall of sound is broken by a fantastic chorus part, that will see hands in the air. The intro of ‘Alive or Undead’ signals, that you will find a few moments to catch your breath again. The piano gives the song a certain lightness (by POWERWOLF’s standards) and some of you might find it kitschy, but please pay attention to the vocal parts. The rather soft background instruments offer a platform for Attila to show his range of vocals, simply don’t pay attention to the vocals content, then you might actually like the song, though I must admit, that I thought it was a filler, when I listened through the album for the first time.

The next song takes you to Scotland sound wise a bit, as ‘Blood for Blood (Faoladh)’ comes with bagpipes. Usually, this instrument is not my cup of tea, but brilliant guitar riffing was so intriguing that I didn’t use the skip button. I was rewarded for this by ATTILA’s fantastic vocals that might be best described as guttural and combined with heavy drums and guitars they give the song a stomping heaviness, so you might find yourself using your neck muscles again or you will join the chorus. POWERWOLF are one of the few German Metal bands that use their native language in a song once in a while and the song comes with such a heaviness, lyric wise and sound wise, that I had to listen to it several times. The band managed to put all their anger and bitterness about the double standards of the church into the music that perfectly underlines the vocals in every second of the song. The solo parts are blasting through your stereo as if to punch the culprits in the face just to step back for a few moments that have a slight mystical touch, just to angrily press forward again and again.

It’s rare to find an album’s title track in the last third of the album, but ‘Call of the Wild’ is definitely worth the wait. To make it short: this is the perfect platform for the guitar players to show their skills and the battle is the ultimate highlight of the record. The song as such starts rather slow with focus on the guitars, but then the tension builds up and the drums keep pushing forward, especially during the chorus parts. The song was definitely written for a live session, as the shouts between the vocals are made for a massive crowd that wants to shake the venues walls. A perfect Metal song. The turn from wildness to sermons is something only POWERWOLF can manage within a few seconds. ‘Sermon of Swords’ comes with massive instrumental and choral arrangements, that give the song a really dramatic touch, once more the drama builds up riff by riff and verse by verse, to end up in a gigantic finale furioso. Beware that the chorus is one that will be on your mind for a while, it’s really intriguing.

The epic show goes on with ‘Undress to Confess’. Organs are nearly dominating the instrumental parts, while a choir does not only perform the chorus but also underline the main verses and once more the sound builds up a certain tension. To be honest I would have preferred a longer guitar solo part and skipped the keyboard solo, we are talking Metal after all. While the last two songs came with a short intro, that gave you a peek at what you might be facing sound wise now, ‘Reverent of Rats’ blasts from your stereo without warning. On the one hand structure and sound are typical for POWERWOLF on the other hand every instrumentalist gets the chance to show their skills one last time on this album and so the song is far from boring, it makes you long for more and so you might feel inclined to start playing the album again.

With ‘Call of the Wild’, POWERWOLF prove, that a signature sound mustn’t be boring. The band found a brilliant way to newly combine orchestral elements, heavy and powerful guitars, choirs heavy and speedy drums, fantastic melodies and brilliant vocals with some new instruments. By trying out some new and sometimes less complex song structures, leaving out too epic instrumentation occasionally and brining in new instruments a few times, they offer the fans the chance to listen to what they love and explore new aspects sound and lyric wise at the same time.


Tracklist

01. Faster than the Flame
02. Beast of Gévaudan
03. Dancing with the Dead
04. Varcolac
05. Alive or Undead
06. Blood for Blood (Faoladh)
07. Glaubenskraft
08. Call of the Wild
09. Sermon of Swords
10. Undress to Confess
11. Reverent of Rats


Line-up

Attila Dorn – Vocals
Falk Maria Schlegel – Organ
Charles Greywolf – Guitar
Matthew Greywolf – Guitar
Roel van Helden – Drums


Website

https://www.POWERWOLF.net


Cover Picture

powerwolf callofthewild


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10




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