Back in the day, you didn’t bother buying a DVD for 6 months because you knew there was going to be a “Special Edition” with extra stuff on for the same price. Now it seems the musical equivalent is the “Tour Edition” as bands update a recent release with an extra disc. Anthrax are doing it with a bunch of demos to coincide with their February dates and Powerwolf are adding a live CD to Blessed & Possessed for their live shows around the same time.
You can check out our review of Disc 1 here – there’s nothing added to the standard eleven tracks – but coupled with it for this release is the band’s 2015 Summer Breeze Festival performance. Fourteen additional songs (plus an intro) spanning the band’s six-album discography… almost – 2003’s debut Return in Bloodred doesn’t get a look-in but given that this first album really didn’t have what we now recognise as the Powerwolf “sound”, this is pretty understandable.
What we have left is a reasonable mix with the emphasis on more recent material. Blood of the Saints and Preachers of the Night get the lion’s (wolf’s) share of the setlist with the older material bookending proceedings (Lupus Dei‘s intro kicks things off with the title track ending the show).
The recording is of a good quality and there’s plenty of crowd sound. Much as I love this in a recording, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the “which side of the crowd is the loudest” section before “Werewolves of Armenia”, though. It sounds too much like someone’s flicking the balance knob back and forth. Other than this, though, it’s good to hear the voices.
Talking of voices, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that all the between-song chatter (and there’s a fair bit) is all in German. I don’t speak German. However, it’s amusing to hear the occasional modern English word chucked in as other languages start stealing phrases from us, given that we’ve been ripping many of them off for a thousand years or so. Prime example is “GermanGermanGerman GermanGerman Circle Pit GermanGerman German” before “Amen & Attack”. A silly point, but hey.
Overall the album suggests Powerwolf are an outstanding live act. Certainly, the press release that came with our review copy went on and on about how great they are live, but (as usual) they are playing only one poxy UK date on the upcoming tour (Shepherd’s Bush Empire on February 3rd). Until they tour the UK properly (and I really wish they would!), I’m just going to have to take their word for it and settle for listening to this, and Alive in the Night, over and over.
Yay! to this extended album, Boo! to the lack of touring!
Header photo by Tim Tronckoe.
Blessed & Possessed Tour Edition is out on January 6th 2017 in Europe (21st in USA). You can [amazon text=pre-order the CD on Amazon&asin=B01N97O1ZR], which supports our site.