Company: Century Media Release: 2010 Genre: Thrash Reviewer: Greg Watson
I have long been a fan of Witchery since I first picked up "Witchburner" back in the day. I saw this while trolling the metal section in one of my music haunts and snagged it. I threw it in the CD player, closed my eyes to prepare for the onslaught and then did a double take. The vocals were not the same, something was different. I looked through the liner notes and saw that Toxine was no longer handling vox, that it was now Legion of Marduk infamy singing.
So, that's how I found out about the new line up. That being said, I had a little bias listening to the album with no Toxine (sorry Legion), but was fairly happy with the album's content. The band shows no signs of slowing down as they continue to blast full steam ahead. Jensen and Rickard Rimfalt handle the guitar duties and deliver punishing riffs and shredding guitar solos. The guitar work has always gotten me on each release these guys have done. And to add a little more to the pot, there are guest guitarists galore on this album.
Slayer's Kerry King, Andy Larocque and Hank Sherman of King Diamond, Jim Durkin, Gary Holt and Lee Altus. Arch Enemy fans will recognize the bass of Sharlee D'Angelo filling in nicely on the back end. And Opeth listeners will remember Martin Axe and his blast beats as the pound your skull through each song. The enigma for me on this album was Legion. I was very surprised at how well his vocals sounded. No longer is it unintelligible squeals and grunts. His death metal growls can hang with the best and his black metal screams have become even more demonic than his name suggests.
But the downfall for this album is the repetitiveness of the songs. The album flows great but feels like one long song, broken up at times with a flashy solo. I'm glad to see the band still kicking but would have loved to have heard some black metal elements thrown in to add to Legion's vocals. That being said, this is still a decent album and follows Witchery's formula. Satanic lyrics, heavy, crushing guitar and bombastic drums. If you're looking for something to make you cower in the corner or just something heavy overall, go pick this up.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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