There’s something inherently comforting about a new Powerwolf release, isn’t there. The wolf lads have been incredibly active the last couple of years. Interludium comes two years after last full length Call of the Wild (2021) and is an, err, “special album”. Translation: cash grab EP that comes in a whole heap of formats. It consists of a few singles released recently - the first one released just over a year ago; absolute thrill ride that is Sainted by the Storm - and a few more unreleased songs, as well as a few “rarities” like Bête du Géauvadan, the French version of single Beast of Géauvadan from the last album. (The French one actually hits harder, it just works.)
The new stuff is… not revolutionary. They’re all just your standard single formula bombastic power metal, like the stuff Powerwolf are about these last few years. Likely some of it is leftover stuff that didn’t make the cut on Call of the Wild or The Sacrament of Sin (2018) but nevertheless, presented like this - singles without an arching narrative with which to frame the entire album - it kinda actually works. And actually most of the material on here is actually stronger than any of the songs on Call of the Wild (maybe excepting Dancing with the Dead, that one still kicks ass). Sainted by the Storm is a hit Powerwolf single if ever there was one, and My Will Be Done hits all the checkmarks for them classic operatic highs; Attila Dorn ever in the center, his pipes as strong as ever.
The biggest gripe about Interludium is why this release exists at all because even for a compilation of rarities and leftovers, there’s filler. Wolfborn – one of the newer ones – just really isn’t a good song. It hits all the marks and is catchy I guess, but it’s one of those “the album needs to be three minutes longer” things. I guess it’s cool for collectors and hardcore fans to get the older B-sides and what-have-you on a physical copy, and the stand alone singles were obviously deemed too good to just sit on streaming platforms since a new full length is obviously not coming tomorrow. And here’s hoping Interludium does away - at least mostly - with this hunt for singles, and that the next offering unto the wolf gods brings back the darkness, the brooding, creeping darkness of Lupus Dei.
Standout tracks: Wolves of War, Sainted by the Storm, My Will Be Done