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I bought Black Witchery's Inferno of Sacred Destruction by accident, after seeing it and thinking, "I know there was a band with 'witch' in their name with a new album I wanted to check out." Call it a happy accident.
Black Witchery is a Floridian band that's sometimes been called "war metal", an ill-defined tag that generally means thrashy, ugly, unrelentingly aggressive black metal. The tag is appropriate. Every track on here is fast and aggressive; the title track is the slowest one on here, but even it couldn't be considered mid-paced. And the music is definitely ugly. Think early Norwegian black metal heard coming up from a crypt, with all the echo and deeper register you'd expect from the depths of the tomb. The vocals are a deeper version of a black metal rasp, along with the occasional inhuman gurgle, and all the instruments play a whole lot of notes, real fast.
To go along with the evil sound, they've got the imagery and song titles (probably lyrics too, if you can discern them--I caught something about tearing an angel apart). They would probably be offensive if they weren't hilariously over the top. Highlights of the album like "Holocaustic Church Devastation" and "Barbarism Domination" are perfect examples of their Dethklok-esque sense of humor. And when you see their band picture on Metal Archives it becomes clear these guys have it down even better than the creators of that show.
To break up the aggression, they've wisely included some eerie ambient sections and "Sepulchral Witchcraft", which is little more than ambient. This leaves you with only 7 short songs, including a cover. Even including the intro and interludes, the total runtime is just over 22 minutes. And they call it a full-length, which to me seems like an outright lie. In my opinion, anything shorter than 30 minutes is an EP, regardless of the standards of the particular band or subgenre. But the length is a good thing, as I could see this becoming tiresome after much longer. It doesn't have a chance to get old. On the downside, there's only one solo (a freaky atonal one on the closing track). And they curiously end some of the tracks with a fadeout, something that seems out of place with these short, punchy songs.
The Verdict: This is an entertaining EP (by any other name), and I think these guys need to get hired to work on a spinoff to Metalocalypse. If you're looking for something completely evil-sounding and aggressive, but doesn't take itself too seriously, I would recommend it if you could get it at an EP price.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/