Witchery
Witchkrieg


2.5
average

Review

by Observer EMERITUS
June 30th, 2010 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ever feel the need to appease your erotic satanic fetish?

It’s surprising that Swedish death-thrash super group Witchery don’t have a much larger following than they currently do right now; what, with recruitments from bands such as Arch Enemy, The Haunted, Satanic Slaughter, Séance, and Opeth added to their numbers, you’d probably expect them to be making bigger waves in the underground, no? Just recently they even signed on Marduk’s ex-singer, Erik Hagstedt (a.k.a. Legion), to take over the relaying of their not-so-welcoming-to-Jesus Christ topics for their new album, Witchkrieg. Further, Slayer’s own Kerry King, Exodus’ Gary Holt and Lee Altus, King Diamond’s Andy Laroque, and Death Angel’s Jim Durkin have even stopped by for quest appearances on this album, many of which come in the form of extra guitar solo inclusions for the songs. Frankly I’m just surprised that I haven’t seen too many advertisements for this celebrity metal-esque Witchkrieg and that the actual album itself doesn’t sound denser than it really is.

However, I must say that the production on Witchkrieg is so thick, clean, and suffocating that Witchery’s sound does come off as very dense through the speakers. This is mainly due to the sometimes excessively high volume of the mix, though: the guitars, drums, and vocals sound very, very loud on this album. Truth be told, however, there’s not all that much going for the band as far as the technicality of their playing goes; both the death and thrash genres of metal have much better to offer you, and the fact that the band try to dress up what little instrumental prowess they give you with a brick wall of production does, in all honestly, come off as a bit pretentious and just shameful. This is a bit troubling, as the bands that Witchery pull from for their roster are mostly technically proficient on average and quite reasonable when it comes to their studio power-usage when making an album. On the split-side of things, though, the riffing from The Haunting’s ex-ax, Patrik Jensen, is perfectly carried and bolstered by Witchkrieg’s paint job. There are many head-bang-able moments to be found on the album, and along with Hagstedt’s sharp-piercing yet catchy vocal melodies, these moments are where the album truly takes flight.

With such talented guests making appearances throughout Witchkrieg, it’s a shame that their offerings usually distract from the album’s finer moments. If anything the thrash sound of the album almost solely comes from the inclusions of these thrash guest guitar players; aside from this, most of the album borders on a slow-to-mid tempo melodic death metal sound. When you have a thrash-y solo come out of nowhere, such as in the middle of sixth-cut “From Dead To…” where an almost commercial-sounding snarled chorus is split in half by a fret-chaser, you have an unsettling problem where Witchery are caught un-obligingly and jarringly hopping from one genre to the next. With so many guest guitarists, this problem occurs in well over half of Witchkrieg. Even though taking the solos out would have just further revealed the band’s instrumental nakedness, the album would have at least been more consistent and probably catchier in the long run, especially when you consider the fact that Hagstedt finds himself too often interrupted by guests that seemingly, though through the band’s own ignorance, step out of line to interrupt things.

This is how Witchkrieg plays out as a death-thrash album when it comes down to it: highly produced to the point of excess, head-bang-able in many-a-spot, instrumentally lacking, and uncomfortably uncomfortable in its genre pairing. Five albums in and Witchery are still having problems, seemingly playing as a divided group of talented musicians when they should really just learn to play as a band. Unfortunately, the problem of super groups suffering from a lack of any sort of collaborative-creative union happens frequently in the music world, and Witchery just seem to be another case where things need to be ironed out before the writing of another album - or, rather, that is, before they literally decide to go out and raise hell again in a few years. So, all things being considered, are you still wondering why the band aren't that popular? I know I'm not.



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user ratings (38)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
July 1st 2010


7581 Comments


Remember when I used to be Mr. Negative?

BallsToTheWall
July 1st 2010


51289 Comments


I hunger for black metal porn so the answer to that question is yes.

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


i did a positive review for a pop-rock album on monday that you'd probably hate, Austin. just keeping people guessing i guess.

these guys really love satan

Bitchfork
July 1st 2010


7581 Comments


Tbh I can't even finish Steel Train.
I get to the fifth track and shout out "done!" like i did halfway through prince caspian.

ShadowRemains
July 1st 2010


27947 Comments


pos'd

basically an obligatory pos for observer's reviews though...

Dryden
July 1st 2010


13585 Comments


Ever feel the need to appease your erotic satanic fetish?

yes

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


I get to the fifth track and shout out "done!" like i did halfway through prince caspian.


terrible movie. Saw it in theaters twice, idk how though, girls made me i think

thanks Andy!


foreverendeared
July 1st 2010


14720 Comments


"3. The God Who Felt From Earth 4:39"

should be Fell?

ShadowRemains
July 1st 2010


27947 Comments


no problem

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


on the tracklist? I didn't put it in. I'll fix it if its wrong though

Zoo
July 1st 2010


3759 Comments


good review, album sucks

foreverendeared
July 1st 2010


14720 Comments


Amazon says it's Felt, makes no sense to me though

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


a site i just checked has it as fell...

I'll just keep it like that I guess. Thanks Zoo

foreverendeared
July 1st 2010


14720 Comments


Ok I'm thoroughly confused now. I'm trying to google their tracklist to see if it's supposed to be Fell or Felt, and half say Fell, half say Felt. WHICH ONE IS IT GODDAMNIT!

Bitchfork
July 1st 2010


7581 Comments


Shouldn't you know, Observer?

foreverendeared
July 1st 2010


14720 Comments


Uhhh ohhhh

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


if the band's label has a problem giving half their distributors the wrong track list, that's not my fault.

Bitchfork
July 1st 2010


7581 Comments


True. Me bitching.

Observer
Emeritus
July 1st 2010


9408 Comments


nah, its a valid question

the link to a seller off their myspace says it's fell, so i guess that's a good decider for now

foreverendeared
July 1st 2010


14720 Comments


I mean felt makes NO sense, but then again neither does this band.

Good review btw pos



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