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Powerwolf: The Monumental Mass- A Cinematic Metal Event

I'm cool with Powerwolf. I'd say that would have been my overall opinion of the band going into to my first listen of The Monumental Mass: A Cinematic Metal Event; some sort of theatrical and grandiose "live" album from the surprisingly popular vampire/werewolf/horror themed german power metal band. Soundling like 4 parts Sabaton and 1 part Castlevania, Powerwolf are chock full of catchy and melodious choruses with plenty of blaspheming church organs and other kitschy monster movie adornments that give the band their signature sound. It works, although admittedly i've always found it a bit samey and tedious to sit through. But with TMM you get to witness the band in their true element; sexy nuns, blood, and flaming pipe organs offering a true spectacle to accompany the band's tongue-in-cheek perverted catholic mass metal. Or at least I would assume that's how it would go, as I am reviewing the 2 CD version of the event, which as you could imagine doesn't offer much in the way of eye candy. Can Powerwolf's live chops and songs pull their own weight and make this a worthwhile listen? The answer surprised me.

The Monumental Mass is a "live" (I honest to god/satan don't know how live this whole performance was) performance that was split into 4 chapters, each of them 4 or 5 songs long. The story is completely lost on me here, as I'm just listening to the tunes, and as such each of the intros/themes to different chapters are a bit lost on me. That's a shame, because from what I can tell they really put some effort into all of this. The songs themselves sound great, however, and the performances are pretty damn solid. I can't really tell if I'm a fan of lead vocalist Atilla Dorn's theatrical/church choir approach to singing, but he's certainly easily identifiable and you're not gonna mistake him for anyone else. The band themselves really do remind you of a gothic Sabaton, but a bit more interesting and endearing. Their songs are full of double-entendre and sexual puns that will elicit a giggle or two if that kind of stuff appeals to you in any capacity. They clearly are in on the joke unlike Sabaton, who apparently think they are doing a civil service by singing about the sinking of the Bismarck or what have you. It's all fairly by the numbers melodic power metal musically, but that's not a bad thing and as long as the songs are good you're in good shape. And by and large, they are!

I had only heard a handful of the band's singles before this, and while I always found them to be decent enough, listening to this entire performance made something click for me. Maybe it was hearing the band "live", or maybe it was just the fact that I was actually giving the band a decent and fair listen this time, but I find myself really enjoying most of the songs on here. Particular mention needs to go to the second chapter "Sin", which features 5 of the band's catchiest and most memorable numbers. Chief among those being "Dancing with the Dead" and "Resurrection by Erection", which never got my blood pumping upon previously hearing them but which I can safely say made me a convert. Being that this is largely a greatest hits set, you're not gonna get much in the way of filler or stinkers on here, either. I'd say that's honestly the best way to approach this entire release; a greatest hits album in a live(ish) setting. Not a bad way to introduce yourself to the Powerwolf boys, I'd say.

The Monumental Mass is pretty sweet even in its all audio format. I'll certainly need to check out the video release to see what all the fuss was about, but taken on its own merits this is absolutely a worthy listen and honestly a great gateway into the world of Powerwolf for the uninitiated. All the hits in one place, and well performed and recorded to boot. Yep, I'm definitely cool with Powerwolf.

Disc 1
1. Prologue / Monumental Mass Theme
2. Faster than the Flame
3. Venom of Venus
4. Stossgebet
5. Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend
6. Monumental Mass Theme - Sin
7. Dancing with the Dead
8. Cardinal Sin
9. Resurrection by Erection
10. We Drink Your Blood
11. Glaubenskraft

Disc 2
1. Monumental Mass Theme - Confession
2. Fire & Forgive
3. Beast of GĂ©vaudan
4. Incense & Iron
5. Where the Wild Wolves Have Gone
6. Monumental Mass Theme - Forgiveness
7. Amen & Attack
8. Army of the Night
9. Blood for Blood (Faoladh)
10. Armata Strigoi
11. Epilogue / Monumental Mass Theme

Added: May 25th 2023
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 473
Language: english

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Powerwolf: The Monumental Mass- A Cinematic Metal Event
Posted by on 2023-11-17 09:54:33
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