Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, August 19, 2022

Review: Powergame – Slaying Gods

Label: Iron Shield Records

Date: March 18th, 2022

One thing I know for sure. Whenever I receive a CD from Iron Shield Records, I know what to expect. The finest metal. No exception this time.

Powergame, German heavy metal band, formed in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, present their 3rd album “Slaying Gods”. Those guys know how to play the metal game. The album flows naturally, no philosophy at all. You have an impression the quartet from Germany just play what they like with no hesitation. With heart and soul, they deliver the finest traditional metal. Pounding rhythm, galloping riffs, infectious and hymnic choruses… What else do you need?

However you expect all written above to hear from metal bands, if you are a bit older (like me), do you get goose bumps, are you thrilled or nostalgic when you see the band has a mascot?

El Demonio Negro never sleeps! After “The Lockdown Tapes”, the band’s mascot, wrestler, is back, pumped up, stronger than ever, in the top form. So as the band it seems.

So, all metal standards are included and what shall we talk about here? Lyrics?

The title song has a very clear and strong message: leave your bad habits behind, use your head, ignore the idols, live your dreams… Very motivating. Guitar work is astonishing; melody simply evokes the spirit of the NWOBHM and thrashy vibe. The unique message: destroy the idols, be independent, which is the imperative for metalheads.

In the world we are all living in, especially in the past couple of decades, you can say we are surrounded by twisted minds. The song “Twisted Minds” speaks about one of the crazy situations; actually it is inspired by the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took the leadership for the second time. In this song a bit of blues touch will complete the overall impression.

We all faced the Corona pandemic, and most of the bands were forced to postpone activities, work under the “Sacrifice” is the song that was inspired by the pandemic, actually. Just remember when it started. Fear of the unknown, no possibility to predict the outcome, control the situation, too much information, increasing feeling of anxiety… All the factors lead to crazy ideas. In India, there was a man who thought he could stop the pandemic cutting his tongue. That was his sacrifice in the beginning of the unknown disease. And this is the song about him. From this distance, be free to say was this act brave, stupid, primitive…

The first association when you hear “Fire in the Sky” is Hypocrisy. While Peter Tägtgren sings about aliens, Powergame focused their lyrics on the reactor catastrophe of Chernobyl. Sometimes you need no complex lyrics to say what is on your mind. Simple sharp razor words do the job well. Quilty, quilty, quilty… Ignorance is no excuse… Detonation, condemnation… 

“The End of the World” is inspired by the first season of the anthology TV series “The Terror”  named after Dan Simmons’s 2007 novel. Actually, if I am not wrong, the song is based on the first season. As the theme dictates, the whole atmosphere goes in a doomy direction. The Arctic expedition is stuck in the ice, dealing with hunger and cold and polar bear…

“Midnite Steel” is my personal favorite. This is an absolute metal anthem:

“…In spikes and battle vests,
Always louder than the rest,

By the thunder steel we’re blessed,
Upon the altar where we kneel,
Rest artifacts of all that’s real;
It’s heavy metal that we feel…”

“Prelude to Suffering” is inspired by a story of an alchemist who finds the recipe for eternal life. Naturally, soon after he found the recipe of eternal life, he was betrayed. Also naturally, he is looking for revenge. The guitar solos could be easily compared with Iron Maiden solos post Brave New World Era. Even better, I dare to say.

“The Chalice” is the most versatile song on this album, it has epic structure, choirs are different than any others served by Powergame, and guitars are heavy and evoke sadness. The song is dedicated to an alchemist who has found the secret of eternal life; he has the magic potion. Soon he is betrayed, his family kidnapped, he tries to take revenge over centuries…

In the end, I realized I somehow skipped “Chasing the Lion”. But let’s say it this way: you got everything served in this review and if I woke up your curiosity, you will go to buy this album and see what this song is about.

Powergame is not just a traditional metal band. Adding power, thrash or doom elements they created the album you simply need in your collection.