Released: 2010, Century Media
While they certainly know their way around a cheesy pun or two, the one thing that Witchery have still to do over the course of their thirteen year existence is deliver a record with real longevity. It's not as if they don't have the personnel to do this; masterminded by The Haunted's Patrick Jensen and flanked by such illustrious co-conspirators as Sharlee D'Angelo (King Diamond, Merciful Fate), Witchery have showcased the odd moment of brilliance but never quite what one would expect of so much pooled talent. Then again, that does seem to be the standard for most such star-studded outfits.
Either way, they continue to pull out all the stops for their second Century Media release, not only roping in former Marduk larynx-throttler, Legion, as a more than capable permanent replacement for the departed Toxine, but WITCHKRIEG also boasts guests turns by no less than Kerry King, Lee Altus, Gary Holt, Andy LaRoque and Hank Sherman. There's certainly a very definite thrash flavor to "Witchkrieg" and "Wearer of Wolf’s Skin" and you might be forgiven for suspecting that Jensen has confused his side-project for his bread and butter. Whatever the reason for this shift, the results are more pleasing than have emanated from the Witchery camp for a while. Legion proves to be a star recruit too, particularly on guaranteed neck-snapper, "Conqueror’s Return", where mid-tempo thrashing meets old school excess to create a seamless synergy.
Eventually though, WITCHKRIEG goes the way most of its predecessors have and after playing their best hands early, the remarkable swiftly makes way for the painfully ordinary. Still, it's a major improvement on DON’T FEAR THE REAPER, and if nothing else, might provide some respite for fans of The Haunted aching for a few more scraps from Jensen's table.