Ah, Powerwolf. A band I liked so much that I went all the way to Sweden to see them as they never toured the UK (one London date isn’t a tour). And then a couple of months later the buggers played Glasgow. And then Bloodstock. Powerwolf shows are like buses. Only more religiously iconic and with guitars and stuff. Anyway…
Best of the Blessed is a compilation album formed of tracks from the band’s 17-year, 7-album history. As such, long standing fans may be wondering what’s in it for them. Rather than offer any new songs, as such, Powerwolf have recorded new versions of six classics:
- We Drink Your Blood
- Werewolves of Armenia
- Resurrection By Erection
- Sanctified With Dynamite
- Kiss of the Cobra King
- In Blood We Trust
These are the ones I focused on when giving the album a listen through and each is definitely meatier, heavier and full of extra atmosphere. Are they better? To me, yes – the heavier sound compared to the originals really makes them “thump”, and adds the more mature, experienced Powerwolf sound to the tracks recorded some time ago. The question, though, is are they worth buying the album for if you own all the originals – and this is always the issue with “best of” material.
To help sway you, Earbook and vinyl versions are available which include a full set of 18 songs from the 2018 Wolfsnächte tour. These are great recordings which really manage to give a feel for the band’s energetic live performance, as well as ensuring the crowd are well heard. Loads of shouts, cheers and hand clapping really put you in the middle of the concert. It’s actually one of the best live albums I’ve heard in a good while!
To come up with a “best of” collection when your albums are so strong is no mean feat, but it’s good to see they’ve pulled in a few songs that aren’t featured live too often (only half the live material is also on the studio recordings disc). As such, getting the 3-disc version is better value for money than it could be. I would say it’s worth getting if you own all the original studio albums… but perhaps not if you also own the earlier live recordings. On the other hand, as I said, the live stuff included here is good… Really good. In short, I’d say if you were sat on the fence, go for it.
If you don’t own the originals and just happen to like, or want to check out, Powerwolf (and you should) then this is a superb way to do it.