Sound — 9
Four years have passed by since Witchery's last album, Don't Fear the Reaper. The new album, Witchkrieg, has a new mix of black/thrash metal mix that is unseen in other bands. The album starts off with a pounding riff that catches the attention of any metal fan at the first listen. Witchkrieg opens with brutal drums behind the intricate riffs and harmonious melodies provided by the band, setting the mood for the rest of the album. Quickly skip over every song on the album and it can be heard that every song starts off with either a smashing or eerie melodic riff. The drum work by Martin Axenrot are always kept at a fast, steady pace. This allows for guitarists Patrick Jensen and Richard Corpse to throw a mix of slow groove driven riffs or even fast trash metal riffs into the mix. These grooves are seen on songs like Witchkrieg, Hellhound, and Wearer of Wolf's Skin. The chord progressions add a new type of mix into the album, bringing out the influences of black metal to the already thrashy music. This is best seen in the songs The Conquerors Return and From Dead To Worse. This mix creates a unique style that is not seen in many other bands. The solos produced by both guitarists seem to be influenced from the likes of early thrash metalist, Kirk Hammett, and even heavy metalist expert, Dimebag Darrel. These solos are expertly hit. The harmonies on the album bring yet another new addition to Witchery's arsenal. These are beautifully adapted and have an eerie sound to them. The overall mixing of the album is fantastic, never sound too muffled and every note and cymbol being heard clearly. The sound on this album is one to entertain many metal fans for years.
Lyrics — 8
The vocals done by Erik Hagsted, otherwise known as Legion and seem to have a slight edge over old vocalist Toxine. Legion is an accomplished Black Metal vocalist, bringing an even better mix of trash metal and black metal into the album. He never overpowers the music by having too low of a growl, but instead works it into having its own unique melody to each song. This is easily seen in the song Hellhound, where the growls have their own rhythm worked out in the song. Hagsted also has this type of demonic talking voice incorporated to some of the songs, as seen in The God Who Fell From Earth. The lyrics deal with the usual, death and thrones falling. Overall the vocals are a great add to the album.
Overall Impression — 9
Witchery is a band that is not well known throughout the mainstream metal world, but they should be. Their riffs are perfectly mixing Black Metal and Thrash Metal into a genre Witchery exels at. Witchkrieg is an album that will receieve a lot of praise, it features great riffs and melodic harmonies with blaring solos that combine so many influences together it produces quite an interesting sound. This album compares musically to Norther's album Till Death Reunites Us, both having great thrash riffs but Witchery has the black metal mix that can be compared to Satyricon. Overall this album should be in possesion of every fan of metal, as it will be a great listen through each time it is played.