Witchcraft
Legend


4.0
excellent

Review

by DropdeadWHA USER (34 Reviews)
October 24th, 2012 | 18 replies | 6,443 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Satan is amused

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

If there is one thing, more than anything that makes me smile is when you're listening to an album where you genuinely feel proud for the artist. This is exactly the case with the new Witchcraft album, Legend. Sweden is renowned for it’s plethora of successful metal bands, it is also known for, along with neighbouring countries to bring the darker side of music to the masses. Whether it be sprinkles of the Occult & Satanism or mythological tales harking back to the day of wooden shields, horned helmets and beer-guzzling brutes.
Witchcraft offer a strong Doom metal album that dabbles with common themes such as the supernatural, occult and expresses views about what the world has become. (A heads up: they’re not pleased!)

The strongest aspects of 'Legend' are the vocals and the general instrumentation; they play off each other in a boisterous manner. Soaring melodies push the vocals to meet its match, soothing verses tease the guitars to juxtapose the sonic recipe, delivering deep, grungy tones. The overall guitar tone is a thick, stoner-rock-esque (at times), doom sound with a dashing of 90's grunge. With nods toward Black Sabbath in simple yet highly satisfying riffing that can quickly escalate into a barrage of 'anthemic' riffing with hyperactive bass work. Furthermore, the guitar work on this album is a true joy to listen to, it isn’t rammed down your throat, it is there to be enjoyed. The guitars are crunchy when they're required to be. The melodies are never too complicated, they add the right amount of gloom and evoke the feeling of darkness which is central to the album's theme. The guitars just want to offer what they’ve got and make you nod your head, tap your fingers and feet along. At times they threaten to do more, whirling fret-work with abnormal time signatures that quickly drop back into what they do best: being unrelenting yet intricate & melodious.
The drumming on this album is a delight to listen to, everything about them is just right. The fills are good, they have ‘marching band’ breaks, where the drummer displays clever usage of timing. Moreover, they do not abuse the cymbals, there isn’t a constant crashing because they feel ‘they have to’, it feels like the musicians generally write based on what they feel from the music and add nothing more nor nothing less and boy, does it show.

The vocals on this album are excellent, menacing, haunting and smooth. They deliver the softness, the warmth of Legend; it sucks you in and really doesn’t let you go. A small yet minor touch is the natural accent of Magnus’ voice; the Swedish accent and general pronunciation of words adds to the whole vibe of the record, it wouldn’t feel right without it. His range is firmly rooted in the lower end of the spectrum but it’s soft; delivering some truly ice-melting moments. It makes you feel like you’re in a wooden cabin somewhere in Europe, witnessing the first snow-fall. Although, vocally, 'Legend' doesn’t allow complacency as the music forces Magnus to expand his voice to coarser tones bordering raspy, gruff shouts with a hefty injection of controlled melody. His voice never gets the better of him, it’s all under control and he's able to bend it to his will. There are moments where his voice reaches higher pitches, they mostly sit in the background; adding that extra layer.

Legend is a beast, full of pride much like the bird of prey on it’s cover; it's majestic, mysterious and sly.
At times this slyness can get the better of the listener, creating moments which do not feel natural. As I mentioned earlier, that feeling of letting the music tell the story doesn't always apply; there is some human intervention. For example, throughout the record there are quite a few momentous build ups to choruses with powerful vocals, which is fine, when it works. Sometimes it seems that the song may calm or take us back down into the hypnotic rhythm. However on occasion, there is some jerky transitioning into these climatic verses & choruses. It completely takes you out of the music and throws you off course. It’s frustrating because if there is one thing 'Legend' does really well is the ‘calm before the storm’ method; mellow before chaos. It seems the storm always must follow, when it does not. Furthermore, 'Legend' is an album crafted for fans of this genre, this is clear in the music; specifically the vocals. Vocally this album is superb but isn't so accessible; Magnus’ voice offers power when power is needed, it offers tranquility most of the time and because of this people may find it too transparent, too thin. His voice has a strange textural tone. The only way I could describe it, is imagine a Swedish Lumberjack sitting around the fire with his children singing stories of ‘ye’ olde times’. Mesmerising & simplistic but not for everyone.

Regardless of the album's shortcomings, it manages to be more good than full of flaws. Take 'Legend’s' lyrical content as an example; it is well written, verses are thought out well, words don’t seem to clash at any point. The songs generally flow at a nice, even pace. Song structures also alternate from the normal: verse, chorus, verse, chorus pattern but it never really deviates too much. The album’s production is great, everything is clear and concise. The bass is audible and the instruments come together to create a harmonious sound, rather than creating noise; neither instrument is vying for centre stage.

Witchcraft offer a plateful that never seems too much, its just about right; it’s filling, tasteful but never unrefined. The album is full of tracks that all have personality, a sense of life and vibrancy; even with the dark content and occult undertones it never becomes overbearing nor off putting. In essence Legend is a rock infused doom album for beginners, but at the core its heart beats for those truly invested in Witchcraft's honed sound.



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user ratings (78)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012



26428 Comments


solid review bro, pos'd

I heard some songs of this that were enjoyable. I may give it another shot.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

DropdeadWHA
October 24th 2012



545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers, appreciated.
Yeah, the single they released for it was pretty catchy. Checked out the whole thing, I was pleasantly surprised tbh.

CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012



26428 Comments


yea it def stands strong against the debut. it may not be as good but still seems to carry its own, i need more listens tho before concluding

DropdeadWHA
October 24th 2012



545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, some tracks take a while to really sink in.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012



7162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Argh. I didn't like it that much. Good write-up though.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

DropdeadWHA
October 24th 2012



545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers and that's a shame.

MoosechriS
October 25th 2012



4641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, also cool review dude pos'd

Digging: Durazis - Prayer Rehearsal

spatter
October 26th 2012



15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At first I tought this was a 4, but after listening even more (to the second half) to it I have to say: solid 5.

Skyhunter
December 7th 2012



42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review, awesome album. I love this band but I live in Deep South Texas so they'll never be around to see live. Shit...

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 30th 2012



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow really surprised by this. Great record! I really love the tone and balance of this album.

Good review man, pos.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

VinVal
January 2nd 2013



601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

solid album and a good review. Vocalist sounds like a cross between maynard and keith buckley

vkristi
January 11th 2013



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thinking about it, you gave the truth in the start of the review. The band brings out a smile in your face. It does so in mine also. My surprice of the year.

cloudnx
March 6th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm pretty impressed with this release, very well written songs. I'm digging An Alternative to Freedom, Ghosts House, and Dead End. I like it better than Firewood or whatever...

Digging: Cormorant - Earth Diver

DropdeadWHA
March 13th 2013



545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is by far my favourite album from them. Magnus' voice is really something special on this.

TheSpaceMan
August 1st 2013



1524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a great review for a great album

percyforward
November 24th 2013



30 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is like the best ever

Banquo
March 28th 2014



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, I like the summary, "Satan is amused". Someone's been paying attention to the lyrics.

DropdeadWHA
April 2nd 2014



545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course!



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