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...Huh? - 97%

Cronos12390, December 22nd, 2007

Anyone that read the liner notes of Unquestionable Presence would be aware that the musicians of Atheist liked to indulge in some marijuana before writing their spacey technical progressive death/thrash. Well, I have no idea what kind of drugs could produce Hellwitch's type of music. This has to be one of the most schizophrenic-sounding albums I have ever heard.

To start, a lot of this album sounds like a cross between Gorguts and Atheist's Piece of Time or Unquestionable Presence, especially when they tremolo pick those odd, weaving, melodic phrases. I notice some people say how a certain band supposedly has "insane vocals", usually in regard to ones that have screaming or something. Patrick Ranieri, vocally similar to Kelly Schaefer on meth, is the only person that I could think of as actually sounding as though he is severely fucked in the head. He gives such a manic and quick performance, I recall doing a double take after pulling up the lyrics to "Nosferatu" when his lines kicked in, as I completely missed what he was saying with the lyrics right in front of my face.

The instruments have a thick sound, a benefit of Morrisound production, I would guess. It doesn't have a "clean" production, per se, but you can hear what's going on without really putting massive auditory effort. The guitars are especially thick, the rhythms having a strong, sharp punch to them and the tremolo lines having a clear, spacey quality to them when they are highlighted by production.

Strangely enough, as crazy as this album sounds, the songs tend to have a somewhat reliable verse chorus verse structure, unlike Atheist whom switched with almost every song. The pure energy and focus of the album is what causes you to percieve some random insanity. This release is a must have for fans of technical death thrash in the vein of Atheist or Human-era Death.