Powerwolf! I could do this review in 3 words. Those words being “bloody marvelous fun”. I was, of course, told that isn’t enough! So here is the longer review!
Background To Review:
Whilst in Berlin I was very lucky to be given the chance to review the gig by Powerwolf at Huxleys Neue Welt in the city itself. The venue holds around 3 or 4,000 fans and was sold out completely. When I arrived the queue was right along the block. As a venue, it is nicely set up, although the stairs up to the hall could be a little claustrophobic! It has a large floor area with a bar down one side as well as a balcony upstairs which gives a great view of the crowd and stage. The great folks at Napalm Records also gave me a photo pass for the occasion to. I only had a camera phone so I apologized to all the professional photographers there explaining that I had not received confirmation about press until that actual morning so that was all I had. They all were cool about it and offered assistance should my photos not turn out so well. I think being the only one in there with a kilt also gave them a laugh! The night was a 3 band bill featuring also Amaranthe from Sweden and a band completely new to me in Kissin’ Dynamite from Germany.
It has been a while since I last saw Powerwolf so I was pretty excited to see them again and better still in their home territory on Halloween with a full stage set. The set featured 6 tracks from their latest opus The Sacrament Of Sin along with tracks from all the other 6 albums to date making it a well-balanced show.
The Gig And Atmosphere:
Standing in the pit the noise towards the stage even before the curtain dropped was impressive with very loud chants of the band’s name. That didn’t stop when they started. Fists were thrown in the air and all I could see was a mass of hair flying around. Throughout the gig, the audience sang and made plenty of noise. Of course, the thing with Powerwolf is that they have a knack for writing great songs that feature strong choruses that are easy to join in with. They know how to write anthems. There is a sense of fun throughout the lyrics and stage performances that gigs become parties. Huxleys turned into a party.
Second song “Army Of The Night” sounded particularly superb. The chorus had folks (including me) punching the air and screaming out the lyrics. The band commanded the stage, prowling around and leading the crowd on. The audience led the way by singing the first section of “Amen And Attack”. The band joined in, the crowd simply did not stop. There were huge smiles on the band’s faces most of the night due to not only enjoying what they do but because of a crazy loud crowd.
“Armata Strigoi” featured plenty of “oi!” chants and the vocal refrain in the middle was most impressive. Even before it started there was a long chantathon with the highly entertaining and athletic keyboardist Falk Maria Schlegel up front leading the choir. Falk is almost an extra frontman much of the time, running around and conducting the crowd in fist throwing, headbanging and singing. He also adds some wonderful flourishes of organ and piano throughout helping to create the perfect atmosphere for the lyrics and stage settings. Between him and Coen from Epica, there seems to be a new type of entertainer in rock bands on the keys.
The band can take things down a little as they did beautifully during “Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone” where lights were dimmed and Falk sat at an organ near the front with flames surrounding him (even on top of the organ). The opening was simply keys and vocals until the rest of the band joined in. At one point foam-like snow started falling heavily also adding to the mood.
I noticed that the stage crew who moved things around were also part of the show dressed as mad monks. Everything possible to make the gig a show – an event – is done.
“Resurrection By Erection” was a hoot. It is a song that is as crazy sounding as it sounds! As a Scot I love this one as Attila Dorn (who is a superb live singer) rolls his R’s superbly. Can I say that I joined in lustily? They really are a band that can make you smile and feel good.
There were other moments including some form of ritual before “Lupus Dei” which being in German meant that I wasn’t fully sure of what was going on/being said. I heard the word “metal” so I cheered anyway! Attila had the females in the crowd (of which there were many) cheering several times as he seemed to speak directly to them. Again, not sure what about, but there was plenty of noise and clapping.
Final Thoughts On Powerwolf:
Finishing with the mighty “Werewolves Of Armenia” with its cries of “Hoo, Ha” left the crowd in smiles and sweat. A fabulous end to a set full of singalongs and anthemic metal. I started by saying “bloody marvelous fun”. I think it should, in fact, be a stronger statement “fucking marvelous fun!”
They are due to come to the UK early next year and I cannot recommend going to see them highly enough. A night of power/symphonic metal with huge dollops of humor (did I mention “fun”?).
Support Band Kissin’ Dynamite:
As I mentioned earlier there were 2 supports but I want to focus on the first band of the night Kissin’ Dynamite. As I said this was a new name to me. They mightily impressed. They seemed to be a band that has been around a few years inasmuch as they owned the stage. There were moments of glam style rock but also power metal. Their songs were infectious and had large choruses and they seemed to be very popular with the crowd. Johannes (Hannes) Braun had a strong voice, clear and powerful. The band moved around plenty (in the small space they had to be honest) and worked the crowd very well. They even threw in some theatre during “I Will Be King” where Hannes ended up in robes, crown and with a scepter! “Love Me Hate Me” was fair belted out by the crowd and even I found myself joining in. I was very impressed.
I once again want to thank the folks at Napalm Records especially Claudia who organized the press accreditation for this Scotsman abroad along with the photographers who were so understanding about me only having a mobile phone camera and also offered me the use of their photos for this article. Really good bunch of folk. Photographs are on this occasion provided generously by Jenny Dorn. You can see more of her work at her Facebook page below
Powerwolf UK Tour January 2019
Saturday 19 Manchester Academy 3
Sunday 20 Glasgow SWG3
Monday 21 Bristol SWX
Tuesday 22 Birmingham Digbeth Mill