the sacrament of sin
By Jay Oakley
Germany’s Powerwolf is back with their latest release, The Sacrament Of Sin, coming out on Napalm Records.
“Fire & Forgive” opens with an ominous bell toll into a strong chant of the title. A strong, drum forward, track that infuses a classical music design chorus break. The song has a solid anthem feel that draws the listener and the live crowd into a power chant of FIRE! A very solid opening to the record. “Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend” strikes the bell, opens with a scream and rips into the key-work of Falk Maria Schlegel’s organ. This is an early gem on the record due to Attila Dorn’s powerful vocal delivery and I actually really appreciate the organ heavy design with the guitars working secondary as opposed to the other way around. “Killer’s With The Cross” is a straight brain crusher of a track. The first track where the guitars are dominant which is highlighted by a terrific solo shortly after the halfway mark. A slower, almost acapella vocal delivery follows before the instruments kick back in to bring the track to a furious close. “Incest & Iron” is very well rounded, well balanced and works very well in the cleanup hitter’s spot as it’s a slightly toned down track compared to its predecessors so it allows the listener to take a step back and appreciate the musicianship of each member of the band. “Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone” is a vocal forward track with a heavy dose of keys and is what you would consider the ballad of the record. The keys and drums are very nicely intertwined and does have a calming effect. “Hurried Prayer” caught me completely off guard. Sung completely in German but is still equally as balanced as the other songs but causes almost an interesting intermission from the English spoken record. “Nightside Of Siberia” is an up tempo track that returns the guitars to the foreground with the accompanying drums pounding right with them. A deeper vocal tone allows for a noticeable difference in range and adds a side of cold that fits the track title. “The Sacrament Of Sin,” the title track, starts out momentarily slow but then takes a hit of speed. The song closes with an interesting combination of an instrument break with deep, growling vocals into a ripping guitar solo and then closes with a return to the chorus. “Venum Of Venus” opens with an opera-style gang vocal. The track over all is a slower song but the title-choruses are sped up drastically. A series and varying solos brings the track to a close. If you like guitars then “Nighttime Rebel” is the song for you because that’s what you get immediately. Overall, it’s a very traditional European-style song. Power vocals, dual guitars and anthem-like chants that the crowd can really get behind. “Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)” brings the record to a close with gang vocal chants and fast guitars. This song has one of my favorite lyrical structures and phrasings on the records but I’m, absolutely, going to make you listen to the song for yourself instead of giving it away.
Overall, I think this is an incredible strong release. “Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend” and “Killer’s With The Cross” are the standouts of the record but there are no clunkers or filler tracks. So pick up Powerwolf’s The Sacrament Of Sin on Napalm Records.