All star Swedish Party band releases their fifth (not couting the "Witchburner" EP here) album […]
By Erika Wallberg
June 18, 2010
Witchery - Witchkrieg album cover

All star Swedish Party band releases their fifth (not couting the "Witchburner" EP here) album "Witchkrieg" through Century Media Records. Or maybe Swedish all-star Thrash masters WITCHERY release their fifth... Both are equally right, that's for sure. Because no, just because referring to Party it necessarily does mean the songs has to be about drinking and dirty love. If you're into the more brutal music, this sure as hell will be the party booster for you. Straight forward Old School Thrash Metal with a touch of Death. Great riffs, raw melodies... That's the best thing with WITCHERY, fairly simple songs played with skills and refinement. For this release though Tony "Toxine" Kampner has been replaced by Erik "Legion" Hagstedt (ex-MARDUK and ex-DEVIAN) and in comparison "Legion" has a little rougher voice that "Toxine" but both work equally well in this band.

With members who normally is seen with bands like THE HAUNTED, ARCH ENEMY and OPETH nothing less than an absolutely great record should be expected from this band because they've been in the business, at the top, for a long time. The absolute coolest thing with "Witchkrieg" is that they've tapped a whole bunch of super Musicians to guest on the album. Album opener and title track Kerry King joins in for a solo and the song sure has a clear Slayer feeling, no doubt there. "The God Who Fell From Earth" features Hank Shermann from MERCIFUL FATE and yes, that one draws to another direction, more mystique and laid back with a slight, right, MERCIFUL FATE feeling. In "The Reaver" Lee Altus and Gary Holt from EXODUS shows up and you guessed it, it sounds EXODUS. "From Dead To Worse" together with "One Foot In The Grave" are the ones with a guest musician that isn't typically for what they normally do in the first of the two, he sure does an amazing solo Mr. Andy LaRocque and perhaps this is the most melodic song of the album so the reference to KING DIAMOND could perhaps be drawn. The latter has that Bay Area feeling and is a damn fast one so I guess Jim Durkin (DARK ANGEL) feels right at home there. The references are just not as clear here as for the rest of the songs.

The songs without guests, with the WITCHERY guys alone draw a little more towards Death Metal and with that the record feels a little bit deviated if I should point out something. That's just a minor comment though because this sure is a short (just over 37 minutes) but tasty piece of Swedish Thrash Metal. And when musicians as good as these are just record what ever they feel like, play straight up it gets so much better than an overproduced super synched album. Not that there's any weak spots here, these guys are way to good for that but it still feels alive, real and that's not very common nowadays. And if this doesn't sound appealing check out WITCHERY live instead, that really is something special!

7 / 10


"Witchkrieg" Track-listing:
  1. Witchkrieg (feat. Kerry King)
  2. Wearer Of Wolf's Skin
  3. The God Who Fell From Earth (feat. Hank Shermann)
  4. Conqueror's Return
  5. The Reaver (feat. Gary Holt & Lee Altus)
  6. From Dead To Worse (feat. Andy LaRocque)
  7. Devil Rides Out
  8. One Foot In The Grave (feat Jim Durkin)
  9. Hellhound
  10. Witch Hunter
Witchery Lineup:

Legion - Vocals
Jensen - Guitar
Rickard Rimfält - Guitar
Sharlee D'Angelo - Bass
Martin Axe - Drums

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