Was it really Eight
years ago that I heard Witchcraft
's debut? Wow time flies...which is ironic for a band firmly rooted in the influences of 70's Heavy Metal
Rock! Their debut DID
feel quite ironic though, as many people who heard it felt it was a breath of fresh air...even though it sounded like it could have been written and recorded 30 years earlier! I personally really enjoyed their debut, so I stuck with the band through the slightly darker 'Firewood' and the more experimental 'The Alchemist
', but I always felt there was something lacking...just...something...
is that something!! Everything seems to gel on this CD. Even the intro to the opener 'Deconstruction' stops you in your tracks. They might as well have just recorded someone saying "Whoa there, stop what you are doing, and listen, you're gonna like this!". And
what's not to like? The riffs are epic, the drums and bass compliment perfectly and the vocals sit majestically on top of it all. There is no need for a track by track analysis as this description kind of sums up most of the tracks on offer here. Suffice to say there are special moments throughout, and I don't want to spoil the surprise for you!
The riffs are a particular highlight for me - if anyone ever tells you there are no original Metal
riffs left anymore then force this album down their throat (or pop it in a player - it might be easier to hear...). I mean, there are at least three original and storming riffs in 'It's Not Because of You' alone! This song in particular also highlights that the lyrics may have taken a slightly more intelligent, thought provoking turn - not that they were particularly ropey already, but they do just seem more insightful this time around.
I deliberately didn't name individual stand-out tracks because I didn't want a review that went "Oooh, you've got to hear this bit...that bit's great...wait, I forgot that bit...then there's this bit...bugger. I have to mention THAT bit...and then there's this bit...". Obviously, there are MANY highlights on this CD, so I could point out some of the audible influences for any first-time enquirers.
are I guess a decent start point, but you have to take in to consideration early 70's work by Budgie
, Caravan, Wishbone Ash
, and Blue Oyster Cult. For me, this time around it isn't all about the 70's. The 80's seem to have had an influence too - musically I hear a little Mercyful Fate
, some Trouble
obviously, but especially on 'Dead End
', I hear a fair chunk of Solitude Aeturnus
! There is a huge latter day nod to Spiritual Beggars
too, but they are all taking their influences from a similar place, so that's inevitable. What a great CD. Legend
? It's like they knew....