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Powerwolf - 'The History Of Heresy: Part I 2004 - 2008' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8c/be/f5/Powerwolf-The-History-Of-Heresy-2004-2008-4-1412804575.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 08, 2014    
 
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A great gift to their fans and those who enjoy the music of this epic band.

Since 2003, Germany’s Powerwolf have released a steady onslaught of their brand of loud, vocal heavy, larger-than-life Power Metal. One of the most visually stunning bands with their use of face paint and costumes as well as lyrics that speak of religious tales, lust and nightmare inducing creatures, musically PW combine the guitars of Wolf, the huge sounds of Falkenbach, and the melodies of Alestorm. To culminate their years of making their fan’s ears bleed, their hearts race and their heads bang, PW has released a massive deluxe box-set called ‘The History Of Heresy: Part I 2004 -2008’. This core of this special re-issue is made up of their first two albums ‘Return In Bloodred’ (2005) and ‘Lupus Dei’ (2007). In addition, this box-set also includes three cover-sleeves, a DVD of their concert ‘The Wacken Worship’ (which sadly my copy didn’t include so I can’t offer much in the way of comment on it), photo-cards with information on each band member, a high quality hardcover book with over a hundred pages of in-depth information on tours, a band retrospective, liner notes written by the members of the band and loads of previously unreleased pictures.

Here’s the thing with PW (as strange as this is to say and to hear), they actually sound better played at louder volumes. To be able to feel all of the intensity of their music and to be able to get into the “soul” of the track, it’s best to hear it loud. The end result is that the music surrounds the listener, and as the album progresses, it becomes easy to become part of that what PW is – a blockbuster sounding Power Metal band. So how has their music held up? Quite well actually. To be honest, PW have got better with age with their latest album, 2013’s ‘Preachers Of The Night’, being one of their best, with improved lyrics and more Rock-hard musicianship. However, that is to take nothing away from ‘…Bloodred’. Listen to the incredible guitar solo of ‘Kiss Of The Cobra King’, the organ of the evil sounding ‘Black Mass Hysteria’ and the album highpoint ‘Montecore’ with its mile high vocals, killer power chords and heavy use of crash cymbals. In terms of bonus additions there’s live versions of the opening track ‘Mr. Sinister’ ‘We Came To Take Your Souls’ and ‘Kiss…’ that features a great give and take between lead vocalist Attila Dorn and the audience.

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The second album, ‘Lupus Dei’ was darker and more menacing than the previous release. Said to be a concept album, ‘Lupus…’ talks about parables found in the bible put to the sounds of Metal. While hearing ‘Lupus…’ it is easy to hear this story of how the wolf becomes the central character unfold. He doesn’t believe in anything but blood (‘In Blood We Trust’) but as the storyline deepens the wolf begins to believe in God. Indeed a wild ride for a band to chose to put to music, but this they do starting with the opening short instrumental ‘Lupus Deamonis’ which flows into the arena filing ‘We Take It From The Living’. What makes this is a great album is the completely demonic ‘Saturday Satan’, the fantastic, theatrical ‘Vampires Don’t Die’, the massive vocal harmonies of ‘Behind The Leathermask’ and the closing track; the totally dramatic (with its vivid, dark, disturbing musical imagery and deep, soulful vocals) title offering ‘Lupus Dei’. This also has extra material such as the live versions of ‘…Living’ that has some great audience participation, ‘Prayer In The Dark’ and the CD highlight ‘Saturday Satan’, ‘… Trust’ and ‘Mother Mary Is A Bird Of Prey’.

All in all this is a great retrospective. The live versions sound great, the studio albums sound strong, the extras are plentiful and it is easy to feel the full cohesiveness of the band. Powerwolf has released a great gift here to their fans and those who enjoy the music of this epic band need to add this to their collection.

 Franco Cerchiari

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