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Although it has only been 4 years since the release of their last album, Don’t Fear the Reaper, it has felt insanely longer as the extreme thrash super group Witchery had its members saunter off and do their other projects. When they finally announced this latest album as already recorded with guest performers and a new vocalist (WHAT!?!), there were more than a few excited to finally get a new record from these guys. Then to top it off, it matches the intensity of their previous records and might be even better then their back catalog. Witchery is indeed back.
Witchkrieg takes some of the best from all the slight differences from previous albums and rolls it into a rollicking fun and hard hitting thrashing good time. With punching riff-oriented guitars that dabble in melancholic melodies occasionally, a wicked bass foundation, and sick drumming it’s hard not to love what Witchery have always brought to the table with their talented members.
The band does dabble into various little nuances that they have in the past on Witchkrieg too. There is a bit of groove sound like on the last few albums on tracks like Dead to Worse and One Foot in the Grave and there is a bit of that mid tempo and melodic driven atmosphere sound on The God Who Fell from Earth. The band does mostly stick to their modern thrash sound for the majority of the album though and that will have most fans eager to hear more.
The black metal influence does seem heavier on this album due to the new vocalist Legion (who fronted Marduk for a handful of years in the late 90s and early 00s) and his hissing black influenced vocal attack. This does fit right in with the style though since previous vocalist Toxine liked to dabble into that genre to begin with. Legion does his best though and fits in nicely with the band and makes a great performance for the record.
It also must be mentioned all the great guest performances on this record. All of them are in the solo department on various songs and these little tidbits of metal history that are inducted into the music of the album make this even more memorable. All of them are mentioned on the track listing above and I’m sure when you see the list you’ll also be more than excited.
Witchkrieg might be one of the best offerings that Witchery has yet to offer. Despite the chance it takes with all the little details that give the album quite a bit of variety, the energy and the sheer thrash will power of the album make it roll with every twist and turn. It’s a great addition to a solid catalog and a great start for a new era for the band.
Originally written for http://www.metal-observer.com