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This is the passing exam for any black metal band - 100%

MARTHIRIAL, April 15th, 2006

Not only this band is the quintessential expression of orchestral black metal, but this album expresses the ultimate rendition of it. Not for the layman taste, this album is not only a perfect example of integrating classical elements into black mental, but also the most sophisticated arrangement of it.

The first time you listen to it, it would be like if you are seeing a blurred picture… a lot of stuff without a frame, but then… the magic starts, once you are able to distinguish all the elements included in each of these 9 invocations of black magic and unholy doctrine.

Based on witchcraft and malignant invocation of black magic, “Witchcraft” encapsulates beautifully what makes Black Metal an art by itself, not an approximation to other form of music, but an irreverent “fuck off” from even established bands on the vein of Mayhem or Darkthrone.

Each song in “Witchcraft” follows a pattern that delivers a punch that, if you listen to other Black Metal bands, will be your new standard to measure them: Majestic keyboard, perfectly structured drums and witch-like vocal enough to keep the music in the foreground and the lyrics behind. Of course it has the intro/outro classic in the 90’s but skipping the saggy piano will get you where the true evilness is.

After listening to black metal for more than 20 years, I can say this is one of the most sophisticated pieces of expression of that movement and even better… after deciphering it, it will make easier to demand a better standard on what true Black Metal is supposed to be.