POWERWOLF / LORD OF THE LOST / SERENITY - Metal For The Masses

November 7, 2023, 7 months ago

Words and Photos by Carl Begai

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German power metal coven, Powerwolf, is one of those success stories built on a collective vision of being and staying the best at what they do. They have a dedicated fanbase and, as such, when the band comes out to play it's an in-your-face case of "more is more." They closed out the year with a short run of shows through Germany and a stop in Holland dubbed Autumn Masses 2023. BraveWords was on hand for the November 3 show at Bamberg's Brose Arena and it was, as expected, the spectacle Powerwolf is famous for.

Austrian bashers Serenity had the misfortune of hitting the stage shortly after doors, meaning they were deprived of significant press coverage since most of the photographers were still filing into the venue. To their credit, they held their own on a stage much too big for them, but they clearly had a blast laying the groundwork for their upcoming headline tour.

Lord Of The Lost have been kicking around for over 15 years, making a serious name for themselves this year supporting Iron Maiden and coming in dead last at Eurovision 2023. The gothic / industrial outfit proved to be so much more than that, hitting the ground running and owning the crowd with a full-on metal show. Chris Harms is a captivating frontman both in terms of stage presence and vocal ability, playing to the audience without breaking a sweat as he sang and growled his way through the set, dropping into the photo-pit at one point to get closer to the welcoming and undoubtedly surprised Powerwolf legions. Keyboardist / percussionist / guitarist Gared Dirge was the other massive presence, looking like an escapee from Marilyn Manson's band, switching up his performance from song to song, making for his own one-man show.

Truth be told, Lord Of The Lost's recent hit "Blood & Glitter" was the weakest song of the set even though the execution was top notch. Aside from that, they proved to be a killer band that make the headliners work harder. Thoroughly entertaining all around.

As mentioned, Powerwolf brought the smoke, fire, brimstone, stunning moving backdrops (!) and party favours for a massive anthem-loaded evening. The 18-song set kicked off with "Faster Than The Flame", featuring the appropriate wealth of pyro. Hilarity ensued as security directed photographers into the pit for the second song, then out for the third so as to prevent us from being blown to bits by more flamethrower antics, choosing to give us half-hearted warnings to steer clear of the confetti blasters prior to "Dancing With The Dead". No journalists were harmed during the execution of said party tricks as far as we know.

It has to be said that frontman Attila Dorn is a beast - no pun intended - dominating the night with his voice and stage presence. He is an absolute master of his craft, engaging with the audience and belting out the songs. Lights and sound were off the charts - the latter a little thin without the presence of a flesh-and-blood bassist - and Powerwolf used the massive wide-open stage to full effect. Keyboardist Falk Maria Schlegel seemingly spent as much time roaming the stage as playing, but this only added to the energy of a show where crowd participation was a must.

Perhaps the only downer of the evening was the 30-minute changeover, which sucked dry the lingering energy left by Lord Of The Lost's set. That said, Powerwolf recovered the lost momentum and put in a show worthy of arena billing.

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