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Powerwolf – Blessed and Possessed


By now people should know what Powerwolf are and, more to the point, why they’re still making albums. They have their own unique style of power metal, and really are quite distinguishable from the many hordes of bands under the same metal sub-genre out there. Of course, they like wolves too, but that’s not wholly the reason behind each album sounding relatively solid. 2015 sees the release of the band’s latest effort, “Blessed and Possessed”, the follow-up the fairly critically acclaimed “Preachers of the Night”. As you may or may not know, Powerwolf’s sixth full-length is just as interesting as the band’s debut, and the successive albums afterwards.

Indeed, “Blessed and Possessed” is a direct obsession with Powerwolf’s one-dimensional musical style, but it’s done as usual with enough vigour and power to remain interesting at the very least. As with other Powerwolf albums, the first half almost eclipses the second in terms of songwriting and musicianship quality. The opening title track is a powerhouse of bombast, keyboard-led verses and orchestral vocal delivery, majestically sweeping through solid riff work and eventually amounting to a Gothic power metal finish. It’s everything you want from the band, and there’s more of that to come with successive songs ‘Dead Until Dark’ and promotional single ‘Army of the Night’. Now, unfortunately, those songs are by far the album’s three outstanding highlights. After this, the quality takes a gradual sweep into monotony, and it’s so frustrating when you realize Powerwolf could perform much better had they expanded their musical ideas a little. This largely affects the album’s most boring songs, particularly the wholly unremarkable ‘Armata Strigoi’ and ‘Sanctus Dominus’, the latter of which featuring a very tired Attila Dorn as he attempts a lower-than-usual pitch. Here, he really just doesn’t do himself-or the band-any favours. That’s thankfully the only flaw of the album, but depending on what you prefer in your metal, that will turn out to be a pretty big flaw. There are also a couple of songs where musicianship begins to deteriorate, and it means that the verse and chorus sections are simply uninteresting examples of a band willing to just go through the motions, largely affecting the likes of ‘We are the Wild’ and ‘Sacramental Sister’.

The album is brought back to whiffs of musical excellence when the closing track, ‘Let There be Night’, but it’s unfortunately not enough to make up for the album’s more woeful songs. As a matter of fact, the songs which are worse amount o almost half of the running time, which simply suggests that Powerwolf don’t want to do anything different from what they have done since the beginning. Then again, why should they? Powerwolf also don’t have anything left to prove, and that’s the one thing which albums like “Blessed and Possessed” will always confirm. It’s a solid album containing all the distinctive advantages and disadvantages Powerwolf have overcome so far in their career, and whilst it’s far from the band’s best, it’s certainly still solid stuff.

3.0/5

1. Blessed and Possessed

2. Dead Until Dark

3. Army of the Night

4. Armata Strigoi

5. We are the Wild

6. Higher Than Heaven

7. Christ & Combat

8. Sanctus Dominus

9. Sacramental Sister

10. All You Can Bleed

11. Let There Be Night

Released: 17th July, 2015

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal?fref=ts

Bandpage: http://www.powerwolf.net/

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