"The Sacrament of Sin"

By Professor Jocko

Hailing from Germany, Powerwolf isn’t your typical European band. They really aren’t your typical mainstream band either, as far as that goes. They have somewhat of a “metalcore” sound, but with so many musical influences within the band, and diversity in the music that they play, it is very hard to pinpoint any particular group or style. The Powerwolf line-up consists of Attila Dorn on vocals, Matthew Greywolf andCharles Greywolf, on guitar, Falk Maria Schlegel on the organ, and Roel van Helden on drums. This commanding five-piece has an incredible stage presence which is evident in videos and live performances. They definitely have an operatic appeal, which is even more so enforced with their epic music. However, there are several songs that will surprise you and make you realize that these guys are extremely talented musically. 

The first track is called "Fire & Forgive", which is the all guns-a-blazing song on this album, and rightfully so when wanting to make that great first impression. This song is flawless musically and is simply amazing when you consider the level of perfection between each member coming together as a finely-tuned machine. The drums on this one really grab your attention and hold it throughout the entire song. However, it sounds like something being played during a battle scene from a Lord of the Rings soundtrack. As the next several songs continue, is where you really become aware of the unique German vocal talent. “Killers With The Cross” is such a song where the harmonies are a solid foundation for the backbone of each song and the keyboards in the chorus’ add a tremendous power. 

The musical diversity of the band is evident as the album progresses. Sure, they are a metal band, but not your typical metal band. Each song goes through more of an evolution where the melodies carry the weight of the tune, but the heaviness of the vocals and guitars are there to supplement it effectively. It seems to me that every band has an anthem that marks them by long-time fans as the years and consecutive albums go by. However, Powerwolf has managed to do this with an entire album. Granted, there is a deep, heavy, almost gothic appeal to each track, but as you reach the halfway point of the album, doesn’t appear to stay from that musical formula. 

"Venom Of Venus" is a song with a very cool opening sequence. This one has a very exciting rhythm throughout the entire song which is probably my favorite of the entire album…the vocal variations, as well as the drums and bass guitar work very well to make it a very hard-hitting number. The ending is a triumphant conclusion to a very well-written tune. "Fist By Fist" is a great conclusion to this album, as it shows us how a heavy-based band can express itself musically through rhythm and melody, where every song doesn’t have to be a neck-breaker; almost as if it seems as though the entire album is one forty minute song of screaming and thrashing…definitely not the case here.