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Thrash. Speed. Shred. Witches. Sex. - 72%

TheStormIRide, December 6th, 2017

Witches and sex. And shredding. With their 2016 debut, Witches Mentors Cult, German thrashing speed metal band duo (now a trio) Hexenizer unleashes hellfire, albeit unconventional hellfire. Forty-two minutes of music over thirteen tracks that resides somewhere in the realms of thrash and speed metal with hints of flashy shred mixed throughout. A quick glance at the tracklisting shows the band's general obsession with all things witches (and sex); well, more like an unhinged infatuation, but that doesn't really bleed over into their sound.

Witches Mentors Cult seems to exist solely to show off the chops of guitarist Andy Charrocker, though Tom S. provides one hell of bass backdrop. Galloping thrash riffs with bursts of ripping speed metal fill the majority of the time, offering plenty of hooks and headbanging rhythms, while occasional excursions into groovy rocking soften things up a bit without losing the gritty approach. Things would be a fairly standard affair if Hexenizer stopped there, but, being the vehicle for Charrocker's chops, loads of shredding solos and fiery Malmsteen-inspired licks constantly flow throughout. The rhythm section move along nicely, with some especially cool bass runs, but, in all reality, the drums sound an afterthought, simply because forty-two minutes of just guitar and bass wouldn't work.

Charrocker's gruff, shouted vocals recall the days of early Teutonic thrash, a sound bordering on the blackened at times. When coupled with the rough and relatively raw production job, Witches Mentors Cult sounds like it could have been recorded in the mid '80s. While it's understandable that Hexenizer was going for an aged, era-specific sound, their music would sound so much stronger with a more clear production job. This is a fun album that has plenty of cool riffs and rampant shredding; and witches and sex. It's not really groundbreaking, but if you want your thrash and speed metal with a side of shred, Hexenizer could be your Huckleberry.