POWERWOLF – Return In Bloodred

POWERWOLF - Return In Bloodred


Metal Blade
Release date: April 4, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

One of the good things about listening to a band’s debut album is you have more of a chance of figuring what bands have influenced them before their own style becomes prominent. Powerwolf have kicked off with a style that is a combination of many Metal bands, old and new. There is a hint of old-time Metallica, but you can say that about a boatload of bands in Metal: Hammerfall, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Black Label Society, Kamelot and many, many others. However, Powerwolf have combined all these influences and styles in such a way as to produce a sound that is uniquely theirs. As was said in the promo blurb that came with Return In Bloodred — “Powerwolf unite all their various influences to a passionate new style without denying the heritage of their heroes.” Throughout the album, you keep getting attacks of the déjà vus, where you get that ‘That sounds like …’ but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Far from this making the music sound like the same-old-same-old, the whole creation is refreshed by Powerwolf’s spin on things.

Powerwolf are: Vocalist Attila Dorn, who incidentally hails from Romania, home of Vampires, Werewolves, and myriad other People-Biters; the brothers Charles and Matthew Greywolf (having a name like Greywolf, these guys were born to play Heavy Metal), with Charles on bass and Matthew on Guitar; Falk Maria Schlegel on keyboards; and the drummer Stéfane Funèbre completes the line-up. To label their music, it would be Power/Old School Heavy Metal with a Theatrical Horror theme brought about by Attila’s fascination with said Vampires, Werewolves, and People-Biters. Attila graduated from Opera Studies at the academy of Bucharest, and you can hear many operatic influences throughout the album. You can hear this, more specifically, on the final track ”Son Of The Morning Star,” where he sounds remarkably similar to Freddy Mercury, another classically trained performer.

The majority of the tracks are pretty much mid-tempo, with plenty of scary sounds of tolling bells, thunder, wolf howls, and horror movie organ music. Some may find this cheesy and a little over-the-top, but since the theme of the album is Vampires, Werewolves, and People-Biters, it all adds to the atmosphere. Matthew Greywolf’s guitaring is first-rate, with well placed widdly bits, squeals, and crunchy riffs, and his solos are well-structured, blending in with the rhythm of each song.

In the absence of a rhythm guitar, Falk Maria Schlegel takes on the role of harmonizing and backing up Matthew’s guitar admirably. However, apart from the scary, horror movie organ music, more use could have been made of the keyboards, a guitar/keyboard playoff solo for example. Charles Greywolf and Stéfane Funèbre make a tight rhythm section, not intrusive, yet not disappearing into the background. As some of you drummers and bass players out there will know, keeping the beat of slower tunes is not that easy, especially in the studio when you’re in there on your own, but Charles and Stéfane manage this with metronomic precision.

As debut albums go, Return In Bloodred hits the spot. Having it produced by Fredrik Nordström at that shrine to Heavy Metal, Studio Fredman in Sweden, also didn’t do it any harm. Many bands give their “all” in their debut album and have little or nothing left to follow up with in subsequent efforts. Powerwolf have no doubt put their heart and soul into this album, but, you still get the feeling that they held back some and Return In Bloodred is just an appetizer. Once their own style grows and shines through, Powerwolf will be a serious contender in the world of Heavy Metal and will be well worth keeping an ear open for in the future.


  • Ross Swinton

    Ross was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. His first recollection of listening to Rock music was at a party in the early '70s, and Thin Lizzy, Electric Light Orchestra, The Who, and Nazareth made him pick up his first Air Guitar and Rock-On! He spent 23 years, from the age of 16, in the Army and wandered around the globe getting paid for travelling to far, sometimes near, exotic, though sometimes dangerous, lands and had a blast whilst doing it. Since leaving the Army in ’98, he has settled near his hometown, just a few miles from Edinburgh, Scotland. Here he helps local bands by recording demos and albums; building them websites; helping put on gigs for them, and generally helping them build up a fan base.

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