WITCHERY - Symphony For The Devil
November 11, 2001, 17 years ago
Well, at least the Swedes kept their word with regard to the title of the third disc. After complaining about modern acts' inability to release more than one album a year, it's been two years since Dead Hot And Ready. In the meantime, the Witchery collective concentrated on various outside projects, all decidedly more aggressive, which appears to have infested the songwriting this go round. While the initial platters inhabited the spirit of Accept/Judas Priest, the new material opts for a sloppy, thrashy, early Slayerish vibe, apart from the obvious Mercyful Fate paean, an instrumental 'Hearse Of The Pharaohs' which features a guest stint by Hank Shermann. Toxine's vocals often dip into the death metal realm, while the guitar breaks and solos are leftovers from the halcyon days. 'Omens' employs a cleaner guitar tone, in the higher register, rather than gritty, down-tuned mud, while 'Bone Mill', the first of two instrumentals, is a frenetic thrasher from start to finish. Forget the finesse, kill with speed and power! In a similarly evil vein is the appropriately entitled 'Wicked'. A pair of bonus cuts closes the disc. Precisely why they're considered bonuses is a bit of a mystery; perhaps it's the fact 'Enshrined' and 'The One Within' tend towards the sounds of the earlier albums and Witchery felt it wouldn't be right to include them on the proper Symphony For The Devil (although they have)! Regardless of how one slices it, the fans get a dozen songs.