• 7.5/10
    POWERWOLF - Lupus Dei - 7.5/10


Metal Blade
Release Date: May 4, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

One of 2005’s surprises in the newcomer department was Powerwolf. The band served a mix of grandiose delivery, doomy guitar work, and operatic darkness presented with surprisingly catchy and strong songs that, despite it’s often bombastic ingredients, showcased straight-forward ideas on their debut Return In Bloodred … certainly a great signing for legendary label Metal Blade.

Musical concept changes have been made on Lupis Dei. The first major difference that’s striking on this album, the all-important second album, is the fact that the majority of the songs are decidedly more up-tempo than most of the material on the predecessor. As a result, a part of the darkness apparent on the debut has gotten lost in the mix.

What is intact, though, is the band’s overall talent of coming up with memorable songs. The patented Powerwolf hook sense is still there, and as such, the band is able to hold interest throughout the entirety of the album. A great strength compared to the debut is the number of cheesy ”wo-hoh’s” (and the like) that were used in choruses in basically every song of Return In Bloodred, and it’s certainly a good sign that the band evidently no longer feels the need to use that ingredient as much in order to keep the material memorable. The organ-like keyboardist is also evident throughout, but kept in the background more. Lupus Dei comes across even more on the Metal side of things as the sort of Gothic feel of the debut isn’t as apparent here, the operatic side of the band is more to the forefront, along with the faster songs at hand. While certainly changes have occurred, many characteristics also prove intact.

A good example of those characteristics is starting up a song with its chorus; a trick used in opener ”We Take It From The Living.” The listener’s attention is grabbed from the start and Powerwolf are certainly great in that sense. ”Prayer In The Dark,” on the other hand, is representative of the noted changes at hand for the band, as the mentioned up-tempo delivery also serves an Old-School type of Metal riff of a style that wasn’t really utilized on the debut. The corny, operatic chorus of ”In Blood We Trust” is a prime example of Powerwolf’s charm, with singer Atilla Dorn adding a ”Hallelujah” for good measure. It’s highly likely to creep into the listeners brain and stay there, at least until the band delivers yet another infectious chorus.

The band’s awkwardness serves charming in most places, but really, what makes them think that lines such as ”heavy metal in the night” would come across as nothing other than ultra cheesy? A title such as ”Saturday Satan” is certainly more evidence of the corniness at hand … the song proves to successfully mix guitar harmonics with hammering sing-along values. The title track ends the album, and, deliberately or not, comes across as a bit of a counterpart to ”Son Of The Morning Star” off the debut; even the howling wolf sound effects are used.

All in all, Lupus Dei comes across as a natural development for Powerwolf. At times, the band’s ability to make the album flow beautifully seems downright amazing. While the musically dark factor that served so well on Return In Bloodred isn’t as evident this time, Powerwolf has managed to come up with a very strong and respectable follow-up that should only lead to greater things to come from (and for) the band.


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