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Witchery
Don’t Fear The Reaper
April 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen

Witchery can without any doubts be considered as an all star band because of members having gained their reputation in other well-known bands. Above all Jensen of The Haunted and Sharlee D’Angelo of Arch Enemy and Mercyful Fate. Originally this five piece planned on putting a new album out as soon as possible, but of course it turned out to be more than impossible as both Arch Enemy and The Haunted have kept both Jensen and D'Angelo extremely busy during the last few years. Basically it was a little miracle they managed to create the material and release the fourth full length album however. On the other hand it was about time as SYMPHONY OF THE DEVIL came out in 2001.



The 13 track album is kicked off by the instrumental song “Disturbing The Beast” and immediately followed by a quickly played and fast and furious “Stigmatized”. Witchery’s trademark for the construction of each song is above all to have thrashing simple riffs. The whole package is a various mix of blackish metal with a thrash metal attack and even some death metal elements have been added to create one hell of trip to Witchery’s world of Styx.



The fifth song titled “Ashes” starts with the haunting sounding keyboards, creating a real spooky feeling thru the whole song. Whereas “Plaguerider” is another fast and aggressive tune with catchy and vicious riffs. Judging by the names of songs Witchery plays with a little bit magic subjects, obviously the old references of Satanic Slaughter seem to be coming up in lyrics. Apparently some kind of interest toward the Egyptian mythology due to the name of “The Wait Of The Pyramids” being a quite slowed based song, whereas “Immortal Death” is an extremely fast and short tune.



All in all DON’T FEAR THE REAPER is an excellent slab of haunting evil sounding blackish thrashy output. The fourth opus continues the traditional Witchery sounds being crystal clear indeed, therefore the album won't let anyone down because their previous works were nothing, but killer releases.
Track Listing

1. Disturbing the Beast 02:41
2. Stigmatized 04:1
3. Draw Blood 03:19
4. The Ritual 04:03
5. Ashes 04:18
6. Plague Rider 03:56
7. Damned in Hell 03:56
8. Crossfixation 04:09
9. The Wait of the
Pyramids 03:56
10. Immortal Death 01:31
11. Styx 04:54
12. War Piece 02:22
13. Cannonfodder 02:40

Lineup

Tony Kampner (Toxine) vocals
Rille (Richard Corpse) guitars
Patrik Jensen guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo bass
Martin Axenrot Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Witchery - Don’t Fear The Reaper
Previous review: » Witchery - "Dead, Hot, and Ready"

Witchery
Don’t Fear The Reaper
May 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media/EMI Music
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Witchery rose from the ashes of Satanic Slaughter when 4 of their members started up Witchery together with outcast Sharlee D’Angelo. The debut RESTLESS AND DEAD came the following year and after that followed 2 full length albums and 1 EP. Witchery have never been a touring kind of band, 2 US tours and a longer European tour as well as a few single gigs here and there are all they have toured so far but I think the lack of touring depends on the members ordinary acts that almost are on constant tour all year round. Just before the release of their previous album, Mique left the band and in came Martin Axenrot (Bloodbath, on tour with Opeth). They have also signed on for a new label and are now on Century Media world wide for this new album.



I had really high expectations for this album and I thought that nothing could go wrong with such an all star line up and I was really surprised when I put the album on play because DON’T FEAR THE REAPER sounds nothing alike, and has nothing in common with their previous excellent albums. Both the debut RESTLESS AND DEAD and the follow up DEAD, HOT AND READY are masterpieces in my collection. It seems like something has happened and it’s not for the better. The tempo is slower and instead of their earlier brilliant thrash they now deliver some kind of heavy metal. Toxine that once sang real high pitched has now sunken deep into the vaults of what his voice can manage and he almost chants the lyrics. They highlights of the album are the songs “Stigmatized”, “Draw Blood”, “Plague Ride”, “Damned in Hell”, “Immortal Death” and “Cannonfodder” and they are everything I wanted the whole album to be. All of those songs are of the same fantastic thrash metal Witchery started out with and Toxine sounds as evil as ever before. Other songs are “Immortal Death” which is a cover by a Satanic Slaughter song and three instrumental songs, “Disturbing the Beast”, “The Wait Of The Pyramids” and “War Piece” are included. Once again have the guys did the recording in Berno Studio in Malmö Sweden. The mixing was made by the well known Dane Tue Madsen in his own studio Antfarm and just like Berno knows exactly what to do and the result on both production and mixing side are brilliant.



There are a few great tracks on DON’T FEAR THE REAPER but they can’t carry the album all the way. The guys must have been sleeping when they wrote this because this is not the way Witchery usually sounds or should sound for that matter. This is a given purchase for fans of heavy grinding heavy metal with hints of thrash/death, I’m sorry to say that instead of recommending this album to anyone I instead advise you to check out the 2 first albums. Otherwise, this album strictly for fans of Jensen (The Haunted) or Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy).



Labels: http://www.centurymedia.de AND http://www.emimusic.info
Track Listing

Disturbing The Beast (instrumental)
Stigmatized
Draw Blood
The Ritual
Ashes
Plague Rider
Damned In Hell
Crossfixtion
The Wait Of The Pyramids (instrumental)
Immortal Death (cover)
Styx
War Piece (instrumental)
Cannonfodder

Lineup

Toxine – lead vocals
Richard Corpse – guitar
Jensen – guitar
Sharlee D’Angelo – bass
Martin Axenrot – drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Witchery - Restless and Dead
Previous review: » Witchery - "Dead, Hot, and Ready"





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