Death Penalty review by Witchfinder General

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  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
Witchfinder General: Death Penalty

Sound — 9
This is the debut album of NWOBHM/Doom Metal innovators Witchfinder General. It was released in 1982. This album has a heavy, Sabbath-esque sound to it, with heavy riffs, ripping leads and soaring vocals. The production is a bit fuzzy, but I think that adds to the sound, and you can hear all the instruments well. The guitar work on this album could have easily come straight from out of Tony Iommi's own fingertips.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album range from the bands opinion on the death penalty (the title track), to drugs (Free Country) to 17th Century witch hunters (Witchfinder General). The singer, Zeeb Parkes, is, in my opinion, one of the best of the NWOBHM, if not the entire metal genre, and one can draw comparisons between him and Ozzy, although I personally think Zeeb could outsing the Ozzman any day. Zeeb seems to have a knack for picking out melodies, as the singing and music complement eachother great, although some may not like Zeeb's high pitched voice.

Overall Impression — 9
This album could be easily compared to Sabbath's Master of Reality. My favourite songs on this album are "Witchfinder General", "No Stayer" and "Burning a Sinner", although every track on this album is great. The downtuned, catchy riffs in the songs are great, although some songs take a couple listens to get used to (Invisible Hate). There would be no way for me lose this album, as I have never had the chance to even SEE it physically, although a quick trip to eBay should soon fix that, but if it were to get stolen in the mail, there would most likely be a Rambo-styled massacre to take place at my local post office. All in all, a classic album from a great, underrated band, although that seems to be the case for all but two (you know who you are...) NWOBHM bands. A must listen to anyone who calls themselves a metalhead.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hey, its about time WFG got reviewed! If it were up to me, popular music would be veeery different...