Friday, July 09, 2010

Witchery: Witchkrieg (2010) Review

For all the talk about thrash metal oversaturation, I haven't reviewed any new thrash this year except Lair of the Minotaur. Let's change that.

Witchery is a blackened thrash metal supergroup featuring members and former members of such Swedish greats as The Haunted, Opeth, Arch Enemy, and now vocalist Legion of Marduk. Their fifth release Witchkrieg came out recently. First, I have to note the album art and title are awesome--sort of a mix of the occult focus of black metal and the neo-fascist fascination of thrash.

The sound is a mix of bay area thrash (mostly Slayer) with Swedish black metal. The resulting sound is somewhat reminiscent of Norwegian black metallers Satyricon, but distinct. The riffs are great, catchy, and varied, sometimes pummeling ("Conqueror's Return"), sometimes grooving ("From Dead to Worse"), and sometimes shredding ("Witchkrieg").

Taking the supergroup theme to a new level, they invited guest axemen for the solos, including Kerry King, Andy LaRocque, Gary Holt, and Lee Altus. All the solos are very competent and interesting, and each guitarist's style is uniquely identifiable (especially King). On the other hand, the solos don't always seem to fit the song (the legendary Hank Sherman on "The God Who Fell from Earth").

The vocals are great too, but I have to mention the hilariously Sweglish lyrics on "From Dead to Worse": "There are things worse than death, far more worse than death". I chuckled.



The Verdict: Sometimes, supergroups don't click. There are moments here and there when it's a little obvious Witchery is a supergroup. Despite that, Witchkrieg is a great listen, as these riff-masters belt out some great thrashing riffs and solos with a blackened twist. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

3 comments:

  1. I just picked this up recently too and will have a post on it shortly. I really enjoyed this album.

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  2. 'Far more worse' is a perfectly grammatical utterance.

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