by DropdeadWHA USER (41 Reviews)
October 24th, 2012 | 26 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Satan is amused

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 (131)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 24th 2012


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.

October 24th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

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

October 24th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

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

Digging: Kimbra - Primal Heart

October 24th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers and that's a shame.

October 25th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, also cool review dude pos'd

October 26th 2012


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.

December 7th 2012


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...

December 30th 2012


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.

January 2nd 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

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

January 11th 2013


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.

March 6th 2013


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...

March 13th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

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

August 1st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

a great review for a great album

November 24th 2013


Album Rating: 5.0

this is like the best ever

March 28th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

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

April 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Of course!

May 25th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules

Digging: Mgla - Exercises in Futility

June 21st 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

80 ratings is heresy

December 13th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

One of the most underrated albums in the past years.

Ridiculously good, especially the opener.

December 13th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the opening riff is fucking m/

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