In 2009 A werewolf-worshipping band of corpsepainted priests asked us to raise our phalluses to the sky. It was an unapologetic display of novelty power metal that propelled Powerwolf into the limelight. In 2021 Call Of The Wild is a summation of Powerwolf’s ambition. While they might once have been regarded as naff blasphemers, the band’s current incarnation is not to be sniffed at, and their ballsy eighth album is chock-full of epic trademark tales about long-toothed fiends.
If last year’s ‘best of’ proved that Powerwolf have no difficulty in penning catchy anthems like Werewolves Of Armenia and Amen & Attack, then Call Of The Wild positions them firmly on the same plinth as Euro headliners such as Sabaton and Ghost. From the first ambitious strains of Faster Than The Flame, a punchy opener that imitates the ‘Master! Master!’ interjections of Metallica, this is a statement that Powerwolf take themselves, or at least their craft, seriously. Lyrics of war, sacrifice and flames abound as a rapid drum beat carries the weight of Attila Dorn’s lofty vocals backed by male choirs.
Once again produced by Jens Bogren and Joost van den Broek, Call Of The Wild points at Powerwolf’s growing aspirations for domination. The production is shinier and there’s a distinct lack of willy jokes, although their heretical romp, Undress To Impress, preserves the twinkle in their eye. In terms of variety, Powerwolf deliver. There’s everything here from the Transylvanian keyboard licks of Varcolac and the disco beat of Dancing With The Dead to the moving balladry of Alive Or Undead and plenty of quick-witted, full-throttle power metal in between. Beast Of Gévaudan brings the most in terms of catchiness and bravado, with the sort of gusto normally reserved for Epica, and while Call Of The Wild is hardly a reinvention, it writes another chapter in their unerring yearning for the top tiers.
Call Of The Wild is out now via Napalm. Order the album on Amazon now.