Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


Witchery
Witchkrieg

Company: Century Media
Release: 2010
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: Eric Compton

  • Memorable



  • Sweden's premier supergroup is back in the trenches again, this time leading the all-out assault with "Witchkrieg". The band have provided bare bones thrash metal for the country since 1997, releasing three full-lengths and an EP in an effort to showcase modern thrash metal. Witchery's foundation is cultivated from other bands, most notably Satanic Slaughter, Opeth, Bloodbath and The Haunted. The band sees this release on Century Media records and marks the first recording with new vocalist Legion (Marduk). "Witchkrieg" was produced by the acclaimed Tue Madsen at Antfarm Studios (Mnemic, Dark Tranquillity, Callenish Circle).

    Unlike other acts that try to cash in every year with some sort of album, live recording or EP, Witchery are the exact opposite. The group have managed to release only three albums in a decade, opting to really concentrate on each song and craft a stellar album as opposed to just releasing quantity over quality. Obviously Witchery is simply a side-project for the band members, with all of these guys active with full time bands. Still the end result is an album that is memorable and really fluid with creative direction and sound ideals. When you hear a Witchery album you absolutely expect the very best Sweden has to offer. "Witchkrieg" is absolutely aces high in that regard.

    This album probably has more in common with extreme acts like Vader and Hypocrisy than Slayer. In years past the band has concentrated efforts on delivering top notch thrash, evident on the first two full lengths. By 2006 the group had started to explore more extreme measures, identifying with the Swedish death crowd more and more. The band released "Don't Fear The Reaper" around this time period and showed the act incorporating more moody atmospheric textures and a good sense of eccentric black metal ala Satyricon or Emperor. By no means would one compare Witchery to black metal, but the band does fuse some of the same tendencies used in that genre. With this new album the band proceeds to do more of that, with new vocalist Legion bringing a black metal scream made famous by his participation with Marduk as well as the trademark blast beats and double bass.

    The album's opening title track is the perfect indication of where Witchery's black heart lies. The track pounds with trigger-happy double bass and Legion's blackened screams. The chugging Slayer-esque riffs from Rimfalt and Jensen trade off to a barrage attack made famous by extreme acts like Vader and Behemoth. Slayer's very own Kerry King steps in for a wild guest solo. "The God Who Fell From Earth" really continues that extreme metal direction, inviting a slower more atmospheric dynamic to change the mood. Legion's whispered vocals recall Cradle Of Filth or Satyricon and Mercyful Fate's Hank Shermann steps in with another guest solo. Those looking for more traditional thrash moshings will delight in "Devil Rides Out", "Hellhound" and the pulverizing "The Reaver". The band mix it up really well with "Conqueror's Return" and the King Diamond styled "From Dead To Worse" (with guest solo from Andy LaRocque). Other guest guitarists include Exodus' partners Lee Altus and Gary Holt as well as ex-Dark Angel axeman Jim Durkin.

    The Bottom Line - This is absolutely the best I've heard from Witchery. "Witchkrieg" proves that a band can still be relevant in a crowded scene by creating a unique sound and constantly evolving. This is a phenomenal release and surely a nominee for best record of 2010!


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: WITCHERY
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Don't Fear The ReaperWitchery
    2006
    Eric Compton3/31/2006
    In His Infernal Majesty's ServiceWitchery
    2016
    Eric Compton1/5/2017
    WitchkriegWitchery
    2010
    Eric Compton7/14/2010
    WitchkriegWitchery
    2010
    Greg Watson7/14/2010


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: WITCHERY

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: WITCHERY
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE THRASH STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Electric Sister
    The Lost Art Of Rock And Roll
    Tad Morose
    Revenant
    Ektomorf
    Redemption
    Glenn Hughes
    Resonate
    Chastain
    We Bleed Metal

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Xoth
    Invasion of the Tentacube
    Next To None
    A Light in the Dark
    Heart of a Coward
    Severance
    Hysterica
    The Art of Metal
    Caliban
    Ghost Empire

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    Volbeat
    Rock The Rebel / Metal The Devil
    Crimson Shadows
    Kings Among Men
    Lemmy
    Lemmy DVD
    Oceans of Night
    Domain
    Helloween
    Gambling with the Devil

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Galactic Empire
    Galactic Empire
    Gorefest
    Rise To Ruin
    Ensiferum
    Victory Songs
    The Chronicles of Israfel
    Starborn, Tome I
    Deathspell Omega
    Veritas Diaboli…