With the news that Powerwolf will be releasing a box set entitled History Of Heresy which will include reissues of their first two albums (Return In Bloodred and Lupus Dei) amongst other material, as well as picture discs of the aforementioned albums, now seemed like a perfect time to take a look back at them for those who may not be familiar with the band’s earlier material – so we decided to do a full job and cover not one, but the both of them!
Return In Bloodred (2005)
Beginning with the sound of howling wolves, which is followed by hauntingly atmospheric tones, it sets the scene well for what’s to come later on in the album and is also an extremely striking opener, with things progressing strongly before the listener reaches third track Kiss Of The Cobra King, which is an instant highlight of the album. With a chorus simply begging to be sung along to, if you’re going to check out just one song from the album then make sure it’s this one.
The pace doesn’t dip after that, with Powerwolf continuing to deliver tune after tune, such as the powerful and passionate number Black Mass Hysteria and the somewhat cheesy The Evil Made Me Do It (but in the best possible way, of course), before closing with a more melodic offering which serves as a rewarding and exceedingly apt way to round up the album.
A very strong start to Powerwolf’s career – it’s no wonder they’ve gone from strength to strength following the release of this album. (8/10)
Lupus Dei (2007)
If you thought that Return In Bloodred was good, then just wait until you hear Lupus Dei! Taking everything that was great about their last effort and somehow managing to improve on it, it shows how hard Powerwolf work at putting out consistently good music.
The vocals have really been taken up a gear on Lupus Dei with a fantastically passionate and powerful performance from frontman Attila Dorn, and one good example of this is in the latter part of Prayer In The Dark, with him really having time to shine with the more melodic section with the choirs.
Indeed, it’s difficult to earmark just one song as being a highlight or stand-out track because they’re all just so good. You’ll listen to one song and think that Powerwolf have outdone themselves on that particular one…and then the next one will kick in and the whole thought process begins again! Powerwolf know how to write earworm after earworm, whilst still managing to keep every song fresh and unique from one another so that the song-writing doesn’t seem at all stale, which is no mean task to accomplish.
It tends to be the case that a band’s second album winds up being one of their weaker releases, but this is certainly not the case with Lupus Dei – it seems like Powerwolf are incapable of putting out a bad album. (9/10)