WITCHERY - DEAD, HOT AND READY - NECROPOLIS
Several things about this album rule, and let us get those out first. Firstly Dead, Hot's cover rules. Skeletor M.D. is the ultimate cool necrophiliac. Then there is the true metal feeling the Swedes exude. This is thrash metal at its 1999 finest. I was one of the few who did not find myself enamoured with the band's debut EP or full length. I just didn't think the massive praise and hype were justified. This, however, has changed my mind. Massive metal thrashing madness (courtesy of 666 rocking riffs) combine with screeching over-the-top vokills to do unto others as you don't want done upon yourself! Kill baby, that's what I am talking about. Even if I still prefer some of these guys when they were in Seance, Witchery has now bewitched me with its metallic incantation. One last thing though: am I the only one noticing that Witchery's album titles are amusing parodies of classic heavy metal albums? - Ali "The Metallian"
WITCHERY - SYMPHONY FOR THE DEVIL - NECROPOLIS
I consider Witchery to be the most serious 'joke band' out there. Quite possibly they are also the best one. The Swedes third album Symphony For The Devil is a take on Sympathy For The Devil (Restless & Dead was a take on Restless & Wild, while the band's second album Dead, Hot And Ready was a take on Pretty Maids' Red, Hot And Heavy). Armed with a new drummer Witchery's third full length is possibly its heaviest effort yet. The vocals have taken on a more sinister feel and the riffs seem to come out of the gates a tad thrashier than before - and there are so many good ones to bang to throughout this. Whatever the case, the songs manage quite well evoking the mannerisms (and that means riffs, solos, attitude, energy and lyricism) of the metal best associated with the eighties. The band reenacts the naive and heady pure metal days of Liege Lord, Exciter, early Overkill, Annihilator (Wicked for example is purely Annihilator's Alice In Hell), Sacrifice, Accept, Metal Church (especially on the first instrumental), and many other bands of that genre. The two Satanic Slaughter-era bonus tracks are irrelevant for Witchery proves it is well worth our attention through its present music, lyrics, attitude and artwork. Do the 'W'! - Ali "The Metallian"
WITCHERY - DON’T FEAR THE REAPER - CENTURY MEDIA
Century Media and Witchery: a match made in sales heaven? Mal sehen as the Germans would say. Witchery has promoted some fine metal in the past, but has also been hampered by a gimmicky attitude, blatant rip off music and an inconsistent former label.
Don’t Fear The Reaper is not much different from the Swedes’ past output. Perhaps, and only perhaps, having seen a bigger advance from Century Media the Swedes are taking themselves more seriously, but the album’s title is still obviously copied from a classic release, ditto for the intro Disturbing The Beast which is a complete clone of Voivod’s Tribal Convictions and so forth. The overarching influence on the album though is Slayer. Stigmatized reeks of Slayer’s riffing, as does the song Styx with its Seasons In The Abyss rhythm and Overkill chugging riff. My favourite track is the exciting The Wait Of The Pyramid (another pun?) which features a superb build-up, blazing guitars (courtesy of a guest no doubt) and a serious riff, but then again the listener has to put up with the not so amusing Ashes which is supposed to be a Cradle Of Filth take of sorts. The album ends with the song Legion Of Hades, a Satanic Slaughter cover version we are reminded.
The above paragraph potentially represents an over-analysis of Witchery and Don’t Fear The Reaper. The band is a fun frolic through the annals of metal and that explanation might just suffice. Having said that, some might actually care what is going as far as that whole music thing is concerned. - Ali “The Metallian”