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Every now and then there is an album that evokes ambiguous feelings. And “Somewhere Beyond The Mist” from the Chile-based Heavy Metal band Bewitched happens to be such a CD.
Even though this album (their third already) reaches a high level of musicianship, the vocals are far less impressive most of the time. But I will come back to that in a minute.
Bewitched is making music for more than ten years now and it very well shows. Tracks like “Semitarius” (great solo) and “Midwinter Gathering” (literally crammed with melody) are very well constructed musically, a mix between good old Heavy Metal and the more traditional Doom à la Candlemass, including some Black-like keys and vocals.The sometimes complex riff structures remind me of bands like Mercyful Fate and this too isn’t bad at all. The very varying drumparts also add up to a very creative result…
…Which is somewhat annulled by the uncertain vocals on this album. Sometimes a grunt, sometimes more Black-like, sometimes clean, but never actually fitting in. Just listen to a track like “Stargazer” and you’ll know what I mean.
On this CD you’ll also find a cover of the mighty Candlemass, “Bewitched” to be exactly. And it’s this track where those precarious vocals really show their weakness. When imitating Messiah Marcolin, you have to be very, very good indeed. This vocalist fails the test by singing in the wrong key. Or so it sounds to me. Which is rather unfortunate, because Bewitched released a pretty good CD on which the more traditional Metal elements dominate, a fact that isn’t bad at all!.
And what about the vocals? Maybe it’s getting time to decide what it will be, clean or the more Black-like approach. Personally, I’d say ‘take some lessons with Marcolin’ and Bewitched awaits a glorious future!