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Defintely quite a cool as well as intense release. - 80%

oneyoudontknow, September 14th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2015, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Witchcraft is fun and so is the apocalypse. Darn all these pesky humans, darn these pesky animals, plants and of course and all the pesky physics. Yeah, end it all ... it is so much fun, once it is over of course, but currently there still remains all these pesky enduring things we still have not got rid off. So, why not celebrate the prospect with a cheerful song. Let us have fun. Happy black metal so to speak. No more black and white corpse paint! No, now we go all for full (frontal) colour. Let us take a dive into the possibilities of colour variations. ... we are drifting off aren't we?

Anyway, Petrychor's release differs not so much in style and sound from what they have offered before, as in overall intention and conception. All sounds comparably happy. This sounds cheerful. Cursing people and to bring eternal damnation upon them is so much fun. Already in the first minutes of this release you can feel it. Happy. Happy. Happy. Let us all damn them and be happy. Oh so happy. Someone familiar with Terry Pratchet and those witches? What a merry bunch.

Not only the opening breathes this happy vibe, also some of the riffs of the lead guitar come over as happy. So unmistakably happy. This aspect marks a deviation from what the band had done before. While the conceptual separation of various types and levels of intensity still has its place in the approach of Petrychor, the sound or rather rather its tone has changed on this recording. It has something playful to it. Furthermore, in terms of the atmosphere and style it breathes rather easy and is not drowned by some type of grim and frostbitten darkness. The music opens in a lofty easy-going fashion, proceed in some well-known type of black metal blast, only to fill the break in the middle of the track in a rather lofty kind of fashion, but actually manages somehow to sneak some of this attitude into the overall vibe of the song as well. Thus and despite the general idea of playing intense and multi-layered black metal, Apocalyptic Witchcraft proceeds not in an overtly predictable kind of way. It is this switch in tone and its effect that leaves the listener not only fascinated but also intrigued about the performance of the band. How does this ep fare with what had been offered before and what will come next? Is this approach an exception or will it be the rule? Well, considering the issues on the previous releases and how these were unable to convince on a broader scale -- they lack the proper balancing and middle ground in terms of the concept --, this one, this ep that is, is at least able to point into a direction in which an evolution and progression which comes over as a vital alternative. A path out of the narrowly defined set of rules.

What can be criticised is the lack of length of this release. Yeah, it is only a ep and it is over 26 minutes in length, but it would have been nice to experience more of this daringness that has found its way in this recording. Nevertheless, one has to admire and point to the evolution since the prior releases and how the experimentation on either of these appears to come rather "full circle" in this one.

The next output could or might or should definitely be something to look out for.