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Witchgrave > The Devils Night > Reviews > BobbyPeru
Witchgrave - The Devils Night

Best 80's Metal Album of 2010 - 90%

BobbyPeru, June 14th, 2011

Some records can be marked down as retro within the first minute. Others, the better ones, will sound and look so authentic, they will have you scanning the liner notes in search for the original recording info. They will pass as reissues even when they are not. That’s what happens with Witchgrave’s first EP The Devil’s Night. It sounds and feels so 80’s and it does so in such a pure disinterested way, I can't help but give it a nod of approval.

Lovers of the old, fans of the output of Neat, Bronze and New Renaissance, let me warn you: you will feel it’s exuberant cadence, you will get sucked in by its rusty tubular recording. If you know your 80’s metal, this will bring back memories of the old. I resist to believe that it was recorded by two young Swedes sometime in 2010. Witchgrave, I am convinced, just got off the time machine.

The Devil’s Night sounds like a young Tom G Warrior’s interpretation of 80’s heavy metal. Like his stab at NWOBHM. Seriously, had the Swiss been more of an upbeat youth and had he possessed a hand that riffed a little faster, Hellhammer would have sounded exactly like Witchgrave.

Witchgrave is a duo from Växjo, Sweden. Vocalist, bassist and guitarist Joakim Norberg sings with the same gnarly creepiness of Warrior. He sounds like the typical disenfranchised youth that just realized he wants to front a heavy metal band. His work in the strings department is more fluid and articulate. In the title track, in pure NWOBHM fashion, he solos at the start and at the end he does so with dual personality, as if him alone could replicate the variants usually exposed by the twin guitar attack. He succeeds.

Of the four song included in this EP, all are A listers. The duo has definitely invested the time in crafting a sound that is pure. Matching that to the hissy recording quality makes them sound like a group that just came out of a mining town in Germany. Yes, Witchgrave sounds that good.

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