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Black Witching Metal! - 80%

chaossphere, May 5th, 2005

Well, since Blasphemy is once again defunct due to drugs and infighting, it’s good to have a band like Black Witchery around. These guys are to Blasphemy what Scepter are to early Celtic Frost/Hellhammer: ostensibly a shameless tribute band, but with enough identity to make them enjoyable in their own right. The new album doesn’t seem to be aimed at gaining new fans, but rather solidifying their current fanbase. So, we get nine songs of goatcrushing Satanic blastfuckery with absolutely no lame attempts to inject melody or any similar form of gayness into the mix. Good on ‘em, I say.

As expected, the production is terrible. Guitars and bass are a fuzzed-out grating mess, although much clearer than, say, Revenge or Bestial Warlust. The drums, meanwhile, are simply a constant pounding blast, with only the snare and cymbals gaining any prominence in the mix. There’s a bass-drum in there somewhere, but it’s buried under a ton of dirt and corpses. Vocals are the most prominent element here, being an intermittent harsh rasp which mostly sticks to the lower register, often reminding me of Martin Van Drunen’s exhortations on Asphyx’s early output, but more atavistic in nature.

As it stands, Black Witchery is even more primitive than Blasphemy. The thrash influence of the original is entirely nonexistent, leaving the blackened deathgrind sound to completely dominate. This is what Repulsion would sound like if they were devil worshippers instead of sick horror freaks. Of course, no BW disc is complete without a Blasphemy cover, this one including an unlisted take on “Ritual”, which makes both the influence and difference even more glaringly obvious. Other highlights include the short, intense “Profane Savagery” which aptly lives up to it’s title, and the utter unleashed violence of the blistering title track, which is an utterly disgusting exercise in sheer abusiveness.

If you’re looking for well-produced, technical death metal stay as far away from this band as possible. On the other hand, if you want to be violated by a raw, furious onslaught of Satanic filth, trip over your tail in the rush to obtain it. I guess I should also mention the unmistakably awesome artwork provided by Chris Moyen, especially the sick interior artwork – boobs and blades, can’t go wrong.

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