Witchcraft – Witchcraft

August 26th, 2004
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They Sold Their Souls for Rock n Roll

More than a few bands have dabbled in the look and sound of 60’s rock. But Sweden’s Witchcraft has taken it one step further – they built a time machine. Or at least that’s what one would think if they saw these four take the stage dressed like LSD-crazed gypsies. One listen to their self-titled debut cements the image. Recorded in a basement on 60’s era analogue equipment (courtesy of their time machine), every track is soaked in that vintage warmth, fuzz and echo that has been often imitated but not until now so believably reproduced. These boys have studied their vinyl, and blend a Masters of Reality era Black Sabbath sound with elements from Slade, Led Zepplin, and Jethro Tull, all wrapped up with a heavy doom and stoner rock influence. Fans of Sleep, take note. Frontman Magnus Pelander has a reverb coil in his voice box, wailing out ghastly laments that would make Ozzy’s skin crawl. His lyrics spin macabre tales that sound almost right out of the Brothers Grimm. From the track “Her Sisters They Were Weak”: “The Devil Came Riding one day / upon his blackened horse / The princess was his aim / They were destined to run his course.”

Witchcraft avoids sounding derivative or cliche by blending straight rock with slow heavy down-tuned riffing and psychedelic folk-ish breakdowns in beautifully structured epic songs. Flute, cello, and music box are all interwoven but don’t overshadow the traditional rock lineup of dual guitars, bass and drums. They even pay homage to Pentagram’s Bobby Leibling with a haunting cover of his song “Please Don’t Forget Me” which they make sound their own.

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews