What a night. How am I going to write a review that does the night justice? So please bear with me, for tonight I was fortunate enough to catch up with the almighty metal Gods of Powerwolf as they end their UK stint of their ‘Sacament of Sin tour’ following their recently released namesake album. Before I begin let me preface this by saying I was going into tonight blind, I’d heard of Amaranthe and Powerwolf but never really listened to them too much, but the one thing I had heard repeatedly is that they are incredible live – and damn, is that true.
Opening up this evening were the incredible Kissin’ Dynamite, due to insanely bad traffic I only managed to catch their last three songs. Arriving as they started You’re Not Alone, they blew me away instantly. I’ll get to the incredible voice of Hannes Braun in a second, but just their appearance, you just don’t see that kind of finesse in mainstream bands anymore.
The classic power rock stances of the guitarists, the beautiful hair that would make any woman jealous, bringing back the skin-tight leather look with a vengeance. Ending their time with Flying Colours, they just seemed to be loving every second, you could mistake tonight for being their night, they were on true form.
The night took a heavier turn with Swedish heavy metal of Amaranthe taking to the stage with dramatic effect. They truly put on a show, sharing the stage between 6 of them, it was incredible how they owned it from the start. A beautiful mix of dramatic dance routines that would put Eurovision to shame, the synths and electronica clashing with the brute force of heavy metal.
The unique blend of the screams of Henrik Wilhelmsson, the clean vocals of Nils Molin contrasting with the piercing voice of Elize Ryd, they had everyone in the palms of their hands. Giving a great mix of older and new stuff, my personal highlight was the incredible ‘GG6’ taken from their latest album ‘Helix’ and of course ‘Amaranthe’, lead by Elize Ryd, the vocals were just angelic.
All too soon it was time for the headliners. The atmosphere was growing tense, chants for Powerwolf to don the stage which was now transformed for the night of the damned. Entering the stage to roars, dramatic style to ‘Lupus Daemonic Intro’, it was haunting. Singer Attila Dorn took hold of the mic stand, now a huge Gothic sword, his Excalibur, before leading into ‘Fire and Forgive’ with it’s exploding chorus.
Now for anyone who doesn’t know Powerwolf, their appearance, is just next level, the magnificence of just how theatrical they are cannot be denied, topped with beautifully clichÃ© church organ, howling wolves, and blood-curdling screams. Commanding the crowd to shout louder into the night, crowning us all Disciples and Sinners for the night, I can’t remember when a band had such command over an audience. Going so far as to have a ‘monk’ come on stage with incense leading into the next hit, ‘Incense & Iron’ and the incredible ‘Amen & Attack’.
Playing a perfect mix between older crowd favourites and their new catalogue from their recently released ‘The Sacrament of Sin’, they didn’t let up for 15 before not including their encore, but we were matching them second for second. There were some places in the crowd running ahead of Powerwolf singing the next song even before Matthew Greywolf caught his breathe back!
One of the particular highlights of their set was their new anthem Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I found myself able to sing along with my fist in the air at times, it was incredible for a band I barely knew to enable me to feel at complete ease and able to join in with the committed crowd. They made it look so easy, the god-like presence of Matthew Greywolf, the haunting mimes of Falk Schlegel, the explosive drumming skills of Roel van Helden, which frankly blew me away on his own, if tonight was work for them they didn’t show it, they didn’t even break a sweat.
Returning back on stage with ‘Sanctified with Dynamite’, the room exploded again, they could have started the set all over again and it would have been loved. It was such a great show that words can’t really do it justice but I know one thing; I can’t wait see each one of these bands again.
I can’t finish the review without mentioning the venue; The Mill. This recent addition to the ongoing renovation to Digbeth joins the likes of Mama Roux’s, the Digbeth Arena and Ghetto Golf. Rising from the sad demise of the Rainbow Venues, The Mill opened only recently, back in September ‘18, and this is my first visit to the new venue – and what a place. I loved it. Bars everywhere with a little mezzanine balcony, beautiful A-frames beams – though the temptation for someone to swing from them over the crowd might bare too much at some point. I’ll be looking forward to my next concert there.
Altogether, I can’t think of a better way to end the UK run of this tour. Tonight we truly worshiped at the alter of the almighty Powerwolf, Gods of metal.
Setlist; Lupus Daemonis, Fire and Forgive Army of the Night, Incense & Iron, Amen & Attack, Let There Be Night, Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Killers With the Cross, Armata Strigoi, Blessed & Possessed, Where the Wild Wolves Have Gone, Resurrection by Erection, Stossgebet, All We Need Is Blood, We Drink Your Blood, Lupus Dei, Agnus Dei, Sanctified With Dynamite, Coleus Sanctus, Werewolves of Armenia,
Wolves Against The World
Reviewer: Jordan Wynn
Photographer: Chris Bowley