Released: 2005, Self-financed
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Legends bloody legends. In many ways, the legendary Floridian deathrashers Hellwitch ARE BACK!! Many surely thought Hellwitch ceased to exist for many years ago already, but they were wrong. The band´s sort of compilation-CD FINAL APPROACH that was released on a small label Progressive Arts Music - as the CD-title should say it all, was supposed to be the last release ever from these technical and unique-sounding Floridian Death/Thrash Metal tornados. Guess even most of us were happy it wasn´t...
The 4 old friends gathered together once again and made a short trip to a studio in late 2005 - and the result of that particular trip is 4 Hellwitch songs that the guys originally meant to be sent to some labels for promotional purposes only. Thank the mighty Horned One they eventually ended up giving this ´promotional thing´ available to anyone who wants to purchase it for himself/herself.
So, the big question still remains in the air how Hellwitch sounds like in 2005 Anno Bastardi? Have they probably jumped on the same Death Metal bandwagon where many bands seem to enjoy most of today´s brightest sunshine with hyper-speed blasting parts, an utterly technical wizardy and shit like that? Or have they ´grown up´ and start to play flowerly Power Metal that has gained an unmeasurable big mass-acceptance amongst the metal community over the years? Or has Hellwitch probably turned to play a highly folk-inspired pagan heathen metal in the same vein like such bands as Moonsorrow, Enslaved, Ensiferum, Turisas and many others do? And only because it´s popular and it´s a genre-friendly thing in kids´ playground these days? Well, we are talking about the mighty Hellwitch here, so c´mon - just think again. GOOD... now you finally got it right, too!
On this new 4-song effort from the Hellwitch -camp, THE EPITOME OF DISGRACE, the guys sound like they sounded when they started the band in 1984. Or to be more precise with all of you, with a slight improved and more technical approach on T.E.O.D., they are comparable to their early days. They haven´t changed much at all and still have their very well-recognizable, distinctive and unique style and sound which they have always had since the day they let their first noises out in form of a song called "Nosferatu".
So, how do they sound then, may you curiously ask? How about giving you a well-selected terminology by spitting such words out as ´hysteric´, ´twisted´, ´insane´, face-ripping´ - and the list goes on and on. Those are only but a few words that come to mind when spinning around this latest ass-kicker from Hellwitch. Patrick Ranieri´s absolutely insane vocal parts are also one of the most visible trademarks of Hellwitch´s sound - not to forget the band´s extremely tricky and technical approach that have always gone along with their song structures. In summa-summarum, it all means lots of kick-ass riffs, positevely weird tempo changes and unusual timings, good ´to-the-point´-leads, excellent drum work, etc. within the band´s ragingly moving, deathrashing music, and all this has been squeezed into these 4 songs on this promotional-CD-R. This is the Hellwitch -style to the very deepest core; done in a very uncompromising and ambitious way. No bullshit - no fillers, but only sheer killers and real thrillers, the one and only Hellwitch way! Good to have them back. :o)