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Black Metal comes in two kinds : the false one that uses keyboards and the raw one, often referred to as “True Black Metal”, reflecting what this music genre is all about. Do you agree? I mostly do, as it’s extremely hard for a band to keep one’s music faithful to the style and use keyboards at the same time. However, all my preconceptions shatter whenever I listen to OBTAINED ENSLAVEMENT ’s “WITCHCRAFT”, a pure musical gem.
What makes this CD so special is the fact that the band has not diluted their pure Black Metal style to suit the keyboards. Sure, these play an important, sometimes crucial role in the songs, but they make no attempt at minimizing the dark atmosphere created by the other instruments and, instead, simply complement the latter. As a result, incredibly BEAUTIFUL melodies abound on this album and I doubt I have ever heard so many EXCELLENT melodies in one place! Without going into a song by song analysis, let me just say that the Black Metal experience is global in the case of “Witchcraft”, as all the right elements, from the cover to the pictures and lyrics are as true as it gets, while the music gains an epic/medieval feeling thanks to the keyboard work. The guitars, bass and drums – in addition to the vocals - are nonetheless as straightforward and uncompromising as any die-hard fan of the genre would demand.
To cut things short, if you’re looking for a high standard kind of Black Metal, where the focus on music as a superior form of ART is molded into a breathtaking album, get your hands on “WITCHCRAFT”. I myself have spent many a winter night by the light of black candles, enjoying the enrapturing tunes of this truly (Black) magical release…And though I usually favor Black Metal where ideology is as present as the right kind of feel, the beauty of "WITCHCRAFT" forces me to disregard my fanaticism!