WITCHCRAFT - FIREWOOD - RISE ABOVE
Sweden's Witchcraft is a throwback to the heavy rock style of the early '70s with a sound that is surprisingly real and authentic. The band's second album will probably have the critics abandon the habit of assigning them the 'doom metal' tag as the sound, while retaining a foundation of Black Sabbath, is more akin to a mix of Jethro Tull, Golden Earring and very early Deep Purple than anything else. The Deep Purple melodies come to the fore on a song like You Suffer. The album begins with an excited Chylde Of Fire whose lyrics reminisce Diamond Head's Am I Evil? For the rest of the album, which includes Pentagram's When The Screams Come, the band is neither too heavy nor trying too hard which further gives the band's sound a vintage credibility. It is not that the band's approach is commercial by any means nowadays and given that heavy rock has long vanished from the music scene Witchcraft becomes moderately interesting by default. Add the band's doomy and psychedelic tendencies and the Swedes' labour gains even more traction. Given the clean and faithful nature of Firewood the singer's Swedish accent could have been a nuisance, except Magnus Pelander sports none which is a plus.
"We sold our souls, yes to be here," sings the band and one can but wonder whether they did it thirty years ago. - Ali "The Metallian"