Powerwolf – Blood Of The Saints

by Mat
Categories: Reviews
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 10, 2011

I hope you’ve got a sense of humour. You’re going to need one if you’re not to be driven crazy by the latest album from stark raving mad bonkers German/Romanian power metallers, Powerwolf. Blood of the Saints, their latest opus, is so spectacularly over the top, so ridiculous and so overblown it makes a Jerry Bruckheimer movie look like a study in introspection.

This is Powerwolf’s fourth album and, arguably, their best yet (we will come on to this a bit later). For the uninitiated, Powerwolf have that corpse paint, medieval armour look that suggests they are going to be yet another Scandanavian black metal outfit. Not a bit of it. What you have is a stomping, pompous and, frankly, daft as a brush power metal outfit who are not particularly original, unquestionably derivative and with a lyrical prowess so brain dead, absurd and woeful that even Fred Durst would reject for being too stupid and simplistic. I kinda like them.

This, however, is the big dilemma with Powerwolf. Not taking yourself too seriously is absolutely fine and dandy but, like any comedians, you better make sure that your jokes are consistently good. For Powerwolf that’s not always the case which means you end up with an experience that, at its best has you grinning from ear to ear, playing air guitar to your heart’s content but, at its worst, makes you want to hide your head in shame at the sheer godawfulness of some of the songs.

Blood of the Saints is a more consistent experience but there are still moments of sheer dreadfulness. “Sanctified with Dynamite” and single “We Drink Your Blood” are solid enough cuts of European power metal (the overblown variety, obviously), the band wearing their Iron Maiden fan club memberships firmly on their sleeves. Indeed, elsewhere on the record, “Night of the Werewolves” is so close to being a carbon copy of Maiden’s Fear of the Dark, you expect Maiden’s lawyers might be “having a word”.

In amongst these nuggets of genuine power metal we get turgid nonsense like Dead Boys Don’t Cry. It’s a track so excruciating, with a level of abject silliness that goes beyond parody and into catastrophe with a chorus stolen wholesale from a Eurovision song contest reject.   Likewise, there really is no excuse for Die, Die, Crucified. It’s a sub-Broadway monstrosity, fit only for ridicule.

I suspect that Powerwolf would like you to think of Blood of the Saints this as the power metal equivalent of Ghost’s Eponymous debut. It has a central theme- their lycanthropy remains undiminished- but, regrettably, it doesn’t have half the tunes and only a modicum of Ghost’s satanic charm. Notwithstanding, there’s some decent lupine flavoured metal to keep their undoubted fan base very happy indeed.

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