ALBUM REVIEW: Powerwolf – The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event

Although it’s widely accepted that Lockdown was just one massive shitshow for the entertainment industry, it did help create a new method of career survival – live streaming. Artists of all shapes and sizes took to the internet, charging for unique live or pre-recorded shows to help pay the bills. Some were obviously quite small scale, filmed in sweaty little music studios for next to no money while other, larger acts were able to attempt much grander projects, many enhancing the experience further by utilising fancy computer generated special effects and impressive physical sets.

One of the bands to realise the benefits of such an undertaking were theatrical German power metallers Powerwolf, who after many months of hard work, were able to broadcast the hugely impressive The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event (Napalm Records) to a horde of hungry fans at the end of last year.


Taken from a concept by guitarist and project co-writer Matthew Greywolf, the show is presented over four chapters, the band using a series of magnificent backdrops and stage sets to recreate live representations of some of their original music videos. From crucifix shaped stages to explosions and stripping nuns, virtually everything you could possibly want from the German werewolf enthusiasts is on display. Just the set list itself is enough to immediately bring a broad, fanged grin to the face of many fans. After the orchestral intro of ‘Prologue/Monumental Mass Theme’, Chapter 1 – Temptation opens with newie ‘Faster Than The Flame’ before moving onto the monks and burning angels of ‘Venom Of Venus’, the naughty nuns of ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’, and the mighty ‘Stossgebet’.


The carnage continues with Chapter 2 – Sin which includes ‘Dancing With The Dead’ (complete with sexy dancing corpses), the never not funny ‘Resurrection By Erection’, and the crowd-pleasing ‘We Drink Your Blood’ as well as ‘Glaubenskraft (Power of Faith)’ and ‘Cardinal Sin’ in which singer Attila Dorn gets to threaten a corrupt clergyman.

Chapter 3 – Confession consists of ‘Beast of Gévaudan’, ‘Incense & Iron’, snow covered ballad ‘Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone’, and ‘Fire & Forgive’ which features keyboard player Falk Maria Schlegel making flames shoot from the pipes of his strikingly impressive organ.

Er… anyway, saving much of the best until last, final part, Chapter IV – Forgiveness finishes the ambitious show in the best way possible with a howling, fist-pumping run of ‘Amen & Attack’, ‘Army of the Night’, ‘Blood for Blood (Faoladh)’ and ‘Armata Strigoi’.


Brilliantly performed and expertly shot, The Monumental Mass is a monster release that for the best results should really be enjoyed at midnight under a full moon with a goblet of virgin’s blood and a couple of partially-robed nuns draped over the sofa.


Buy the album here:

9 / 10