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Interviews : “I would say The Sacrament of Sin sounds more organic” – An interview with Falk Maria Schlegel (Powerwolf)

By on May 26, 2018

Powerwolf – Falk Maria Schlegel

Falk Maria Schlegel is the very talented keyboardist (and occasional air-guitarist!) for German power metal vanguard, Powerwolf. The band have attracted a legion of followers based on their aggressive take on power metal and theatrical live show.

This year, Powerwolf release the uncompromising album, The Sacrament of Sin. Presented as part of a trio of releases, fans can expect a covers album and symphonic interpretation of The Sacrament of Sin to compliment the in-studio offering. Speaking in English steeped in a deep German accent, the affable Falk is keen to express his enthusiasm.

We have our main studio album, The Sacrament of Sin. I would say this album has more and more varieties to the previous one. We use a lot more instruments like bagpipe or more orchestration parts with a lot of proper ballads. On the other hand, we changed the whole production scene and for the first time, we worked with Jens Bogren. I would say this; the Sacrament of Sin sounds more organic than the previous one but still like a Powerwolf (album). It’s a very strong, fast and hard album. On the other side we have this bonus album you mentioned already, Communio Lupatum, that means that 10 great bands and friends of Powerwolf come out with Powerwolf songs in their very own style. That is really an honour that many of them covered the songs of Powerwolf.”

‘Communio Luporum’ comes bundled with the special edition of The Sacrament Of Sin, out July 20th via Napalm Records.

It was only an article or two ago that Amorphis bassist Olli-Pekka ‘Oppu’ Laine expressed his delight at the results Jens Bogren help achieve on their studio album for 2018. Just what is it about the venerable Swede that makes each album he produces so special?

Jens Bogren did the mastering for the Blessed and Possessed (’15) album and then we were thinking about how it would be to work with him because we also liked the previous album when we worked with Frederick Nordström, but we want to change something. We know that Jens gives every band a personal sound that is not ‘this sounds like Jens Bogren or it is a Jens Bogren sound.’ Every band their very own sounds.”

We hear bands refer to the ‘Ross Robinson sound’ (just ask Suicide Silence…), the speaker wrecking, big-bottomed production of Metallica collaborator Bob Rock, and the myriad of other high-profile producers that engineer their production to act as an additional member of a band. It certainly is refreshing to hear that Bogren allows a band to achieve precisely the sound they want by encouraging different instruments and songwriting narratives, opposed to the dark alchemy of pro-tools derived wizardry, as Falk explains.

I think you can hear (that) on The Sacrament of Sin, for me especially I’m a fan of it because I love the Amorphis albums, Kreator albums and even Sepultura. A few weeks ago, I just met Andreas Kisser from Sepultura and we talked about Jens and it’s like a new input in the band. (He) said the same thing that he gives us new experiences that we dare to do something.”

Orchestral themed releases in the world of metal are coupled with risk, expectation and most often end in disappointment. Very few are critically successful. Metallica released the ill-conceived S&M (’99) to cap the divisive Load era, and no-one around Manowar bassist and visionary Joey DeMaio managed to convince him to abandon his reckless nouveau Richard Wagner aspirations through the albums Warriors of the World (‘02) and Gods of War (’07). Powerwolf wisely opt to offer the symphonic version of The Sacrament of Sin in tandem with the studio version. Listeners can dip in and out of the listening experience by choosing the version they please, without suffering through lengthy and self-indulgent movements.

We worked the first time with Joost van den Broek to teach (us) orchestration. There were so much orchestration parts for this album and when we mixed the album we had to decide what can we feature here, what can we do here? Because we consider us as a heavy metal band and not as a symphonic metal band. But sometimes you have to leave out the orchestration part. But the orchestration part and orchestration things are so good and so brilliant that we decided come on let’s do these 11 songs in orchestration.”

Listen to the full conversation with Falk here.

The new album The Sacrament Of Sin out July 20th via Napalm Records (Europe) and Nerve Gas (Australia).

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith