On a cold Montreal Friday night, we were greeted by the German Power Juggernauts, POWERWOLF along with the Florida-based SEVEN KINGDOMS. The line was a mile long and the show was sold out in mere days back in October, it’s their very first show in Canada and only the second in North America in their career. To say that the Montreal fans were antsy and excited would be such an understatement.
POWERWOLF are a very polarizing band in the world of Metal. They are akin to SABATON because of their most straightforward Power Metal style and easy-listening style of compositions. A lot of people criticize the oversimplistic approach they have to music and they always stay true to the formula, never really going astray. I think those people are vastly wrong about everything because they bring something completely different to the table.
They are not the prototypical Power Metal band, the singer has a unique range and voice but has such a presence, a demeanor, and cult-like ability to grab the attention of the listener out there. The whole band is quite theatrical yet sometimes quite comical, not taking themselves too seriously and talking about werewolves, vampires, and whatnot. They are not like a lot of Power Metal bands out there talking about the wizards of the dragon’s empire through the fire of the ember diamond on top of the crystal mountain of doom. They talk about horror, religion, epic morbid, and classic fantasy tales. They really stand out on the lyrical content which is a nice departure obviously.
It is a mystery why there are no more female-fronted power metal bands. Considering that the genre’s vocal requirements often call for higher-pitched, clear voices with plenty of upper-octave range, one would expect aspiring bands to stalk any powerful sopranos willing to sing melodic metal. Florida’s SEVEN KINGDOMS is proof of that concept, as the band’s take on melodic, European-tinged power metal benefits greatly from the vocals of Sabrina Valentine, who provides a fresh alternative to Michael Kiske-clones usually fronting these types of bands.
SEVEN KINGDOMS come in like a hurricane to a raucous crowd. I have been to the MTELUS (formerly the Metropolis) for over 20 years and I have not ever seen this place this jam-packed, it was a sight to see. I arrived a bit later than anticipated but was able to catch their highly energetic set. Sabrina Valentine has a rare gift, a mix of highly contagious energy and quite the stage presence. They were pleasantly surprised by the crowd’s reaction to their songs and seemed genuinely touched. I would not be surprised to see them back here this year to be perfectly honest.
Catchy European Power Metal style with a lot of flashes, the band members seem to be having a lot of fun on stage and it comes through in their performance. They did a banging cover of Don Henley’s classic ‘’The Boys of Summer’’ which was a nice surprise. The fans really dug it and I saw some of the bartenders singing and dancing to the song. A great performance from an up-and-coming band with a bright future.
Chasing the Mirage
The Water Dance
Magic in the Mist
A Silent Remedy
The Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)
In the Walls
And the Monumental Metal Montreal Mass begins!!!
German Werewolves POWERWOLF were hitting North American soil for the first time and the gigantic pop of the cheering crowd (which will last the whole show!), I hadn’t experienced that since BLIND GUARDIAN’s first appearance in November 2002! Attila Dorn, makes us eat in the palm of his hand, seasoned frontman and stentorian voice that never weakens, bewitch us, and speaks in almost impeccable French and his companions in arms, with disconcerting precision, never let go not taking a second. The reaction, the chants, the shouts, and the participation of the crowd is amazing! Catchy riffs + choruses repeated in synergy: winning formula! They promise to come back and I’m sure it will take a bigger venue because we were like sardines in a can.
Right off the bat, the keyboards sound like church organs, the production quality of the show is very theatrical (again with that word) and you can see the time they have taken to perfect their live craft. The keyboard has such frenetic energy and helped pump up the crowd for the whole show. Other than Attila’s majestic performance, Christian Jost’s presence was a great complimentary element to the show.
The fans were already conquered starting at 9 PM when they first started, a gig that lasted about 1h45 minutes. We were out of the venue at 11 PM which is awesome, you have time to relax and go take your car or subway. Each show should finish at that time, it gives time to unwind because this show was exhausting with all the dancing, jumping, and screaming. My lungs were tired at the end from all that singing so the respite after the show was a welcome presence.
What a setlist, just huge bangers out there and a few songs I was not familiar with (mainly ‘’Armata Strigoi’’ and ‘’Stossgebet’’) to be perfectly honest. I discovered them only a few years back, probably around January of 2020 so I was late to the party like they say and quickly became a huge fan. Not many Power Metal bands have impressed much in the last two decades, after the genesis of the genre with bands like STRATOVARIUS and RHAPSODY. They have been at it for almost twenty years and now it’s superstardom in Europe and we are so close to it here in North America. Next time they come here, it’s going to be Place Bell, a 5000-seater hockey arena, it’s a foregone conclusion. They are big, and probably didn’t think they would sell out almost all of the North American dates but they did, that’s a rare feat honestly.
And yes you had a varied setlist, from the first album to the incredible ‘’Call of the Wild’’ album. They dug deep into their catalog and offered something from every period of the band. You had to have the Power Ballad ‘’Where the Wild Wolves Have Gone’’ which I really can’t stand but it was a welcome change of pace in the show and I know a lot of people love that song but not me. I would have preferred something else, maybe ‘’Killers with a Cross’’, my favorite POWERWOLF song, or the incredible ‘’Nightmare of Siberia’’.
The fact that the band decided to translate ‘’The Beast of Gevaudan’’ into French was such a nice surprise. The fans were taken aback and so pleased, you should have seen the smiling faces out there. I was genuinely moved by the crowd’s reaction to it, same as Attila speaking to us in almost impeccable French all night was really comforting on so many levels. When the show was over, he had this smile on his face, he was so happy about the show and our hot crowd. He seemed so pleased and moved by the whole crowd’s participation throughout the show. It was one hell of a way to start off the tour (with the New York the evening before obviously). All band members seemed to be touched by our response and they promised to come back to Montreal. He told us bluntly that we were all possessed by Heavy Metal!!!
An amazing night of Metal, one of the most memorable shows I have ever seen, and can’t wait to see them back again but next time, I’ll arrive a bit earlier to find a better spot!
Faster Than the Flame
Incense & Iron
Army of the Night
Amen & Attack
Dancing With the Dead
Bête du Gévaudan (French Version!)
Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Fire and Forgive
Where the Wild Wolves Have Gone
Sainted by the Storm
Resurrection by Erection
Blood for Blood (Faoladh)
Let There Be Night
Sanctified With Dynamite
We Drink Your Blood
Werewolves of Armenia
I was there as well and yes, this was one hell of a show!
I went to see Dragonforce in March 2022 and that was my “memorable show #1″….until now…Powerwolf took the pole position!
Powerwolf delivered and Montreal loved them back!
I hope this will be a long-term love story between PW and MTL!
FYI: The photo in this article with the shooting flames is not from the Montreal show. 😉