With 2018’s The Sacrament of Sin becoming the pinnacle of the band’s commercial and critical career, it seemed from a musical standpoint that the band had found their identity at long last, transforming their musical creativity fusing their gothic power metal musicianship and terrific lyricism with a flawless management of orchestra and choir to execute a grandiose, theatrical listening experience. Because of this album’s impactful existence and that bold step forward, Powerwolf’s iconic sound and reputation wouldn’t be the way it is today. Taking advantage of that creative direction, the band cranked out 2021’s Call of the Wild while not as successful or ambitious as their prior output, but it still roared through speakers providing one solid track after another.
However, before divulging any further, Interludium this time, is not a studio album, but technically a compilation album, releasing six current studio releases and four rarities never released in physical copies of their discography. Take it as celebrating the new while revisiting the old, and for what it’s worth, Interludium is a solid release…for the most part.
After the folk acoustic introduction with an accompaniment of bells chiming, “Wolves Of War” howls with aplomb and explodes with all of the goodness you can expect out of Powerwolf song. A straight-to-the-point warlike anthem with powerful production and heart-stopping symphonic elements that doesn’t lose its momentum.
“Sainted by Storm”, the first single released before this album, hooks you right from the word ‘go’. By the opening anthemic chorus line, Roel van Helden’s thunderous percussion, Falk Maria Schlegel’s impeccable skills on the organ and Matthew and Charles Greywolf’s guitar riffs that make you set sail across the seas, it was evident that this number would most definitely be on tour and musically become one for the ages in band’s catalog. It’s also a song that shows Attila Dorn’s operatic range at its best, hitting some of the highest notes in his frontman career.
Things take a gothic, up-beat turn when “No Prayer At Midnight” kicks into high gear and steals the dance floor, with a chorus that should be played for Halloween parties for years to come. Other tracks like the blazing “My Will Be Done” and the Celtic inspired “Altars On Fire” are good tracks, albeit ones that sound familiar to songs that came before, but the highlight of the entire disc is the ferocious, testosterone-fueled “Wolfborn”. Referencing the tale of Romulus and Remus of Rome, this is a fist-pumping, catchy three minute track that will turn you from a peasant to a warrior within seconds.
After the new tracks have finished their turn, the older tracks take the stage, and for most of them, half of which you can understand why some of them have been on the cutting room floor in their earlier records like 2013’s The Rockford Sacrament EP and the Wolsnäche 2015 Tour EP, and the other two you wonder why they could’ve been bonus tracks in the modern releases, seeing how in the past with 2009’s Bible of the Beast released 12 tracks as opposed to the basic 10 or 11. “Stronger Than The Sacrament” is a decent song, but nothing too innovative as far as style or lyrics are concerned, “Living on a Nightmare” has interesting, and at times ghoulish elements, if only the riffs were just as interesting. “Bête du Gévaudan” is textbook filler. Not calling it bad, it’s a terrific French version of Call of the Wild’s “Beast of Gévaudan”, however, it feels like this single should’ve been a bonus track for Call of the Wild, and the same can be admittedly said for the best older track of them all, the haunting, angelic “Midnight Madonna”, a single released after The Sacrament of Sin album.
While not the greatest compilation that the power-metal pack has to offer, “Interludium” still unleashes original songs that could be a great indication of what fans can expect moving forward and ironically, quite a way to celebrate Easter Sunday.
Wolves Of War
Sainted by the Storm
No Prayer at Midnight
My Will Be Done
Altars On Fire
Stronger Than The Sacrament
Living On A Nightmare
Bête du Gévaudan
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