Artificial truth

The more you see, the less you believe.

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Powerwolf at the Download festival
Mon 18 June 2018 — download

Powerwolf poster

The last week-end, between the 15th and 17th of June 2018, I enjoyed the third happening of the Download festival paris. The weather was perfect: 20°C all days long (yay sunburns!), and the place was surprising: it was taking place on the (now defunct) Airbase A17. Hence why there were several containers with warplanes perched on them!

The line-up was pretty dope:

  • Ghost that I wanted to see since years, but unfortunately, they had some major feedback issues, making their whole show hard to tolerate, even with earplugs.
  • Billy Talent and the Offspring that I listened to something like 10 years ago
  • Betraying the Martyrs, despite their utterly disappointing last album, are still impressive.
  • Alestorm felt less than a pirate-metal band than some cheap garage band.
  • Alcest as expected was terrible: playing post-black metal live outside is always a great way to generate noise and disappointment.
  • Avatar was fun, I'm a big fan of their whole equally grotesque and colourful imagery and it's impossible to not jiggle to their super-duper-goovy sound!
  • Hollywood undead while being super-far from being my cup of tea was full of energy. Apparently, *rapcore * is a thing.
  • Crossfaith, from Japan, were impressive. We were emptying beers while looking for some friends, when suddenly, on the main stage, a cover of Prodigy's Omen! I'm usually not a big fan of electronic music, but Crossfaith manages to blend it perfectly. At least live: I tried to listen to their studio productions, and it sounded kind of meh.

But the real surprised of the festival was (as hinted by the title of this post) Powerwolf! I never really listened to it but my best friend told me that they were "pretty decent". And damn they were!

A German power/heavy metal band, all dressed in black worm cassock but the frontman who's wearing a heavy ferraiuolo, singing about werewolves and vampires, with imageries mashing wolves and the catholic church? The singer has a powerful voice (he apparently studied classical opera at the university of Bucharest, I wouldn't be surprised, but I failed to find any reliable source about this): no growls nor chorus here, yet it doesn't feel like it's lacking anything to their songs. Cherry on the top: he did his very best to speak in French between the songs, and not the usual "comment ça va Paris ?" but announcing the dates of their next show in Paris as the beginning of their new tour, in French!

Their songs are catchy as Hell, and even if their latin (they naturally have some songs/parts in latin) is a bit broken, but it's still fun to hear several thousand people yell their chorus!

The lyrics are as expected darker than the night, but they of course are full of second degree, with songs like All you need is blood and Dead Boys Don't Cry. About the music, it does sound a bit like blind guardian, but without cocky solos way more powerful and generally more pleasant ;)

I do recommend We drink your blood, sanctified with dynamite, demons are a girl's best friend despite its shitty clip and if you had only one to listen to, it would be Armata Strigoi!