WITCHERY – Don’t Fear The Reaper

WITCHERY - Don't Fear The Reaper


Century Media
Release date: February 27, 2006

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Nine years after the break-up of Satanic Slaughter, resulting in the foundation of the band Witchery, these hard-thrashing Swedes have taken the time to finally complete the follow-up to 2001’s Symphony For The Devil. This album was, just like its predecessors Dead, Hot and Ready (1999) and Restless and Dead, a solid ball of fiery Thrash-Power-Death Metal, strengthening the band’s status as a fresh breath into a stellar scene plagued with hordes of Gamma Ray- and Dimmu Borgir-clone bands.

One of the reasons for the long interval is probably the band members’ involvement with such bands as The Haunted, Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate, Spiritual Beggars, and Bloodbath. Such a CV should also result in a certain level of quality in the music -– although this, as you probably know, is not the case with all “supergroups” -– luckily Witchery once again delivers a high quality effort.

The guitars of Richard Corpse and Patrik Jensen are impressive throughout, mixing raw and unpolished lead lines with intense riffing and a guitar sound reminiscent of recent Immortal albums. The riffs vary from straight-ahead Thrash (“Plague Rider,” “Styx,” “Cannonfodder”) to more Black Metallish tones (“Ashes” and to some extent “Stigmatized”) and powerful Heavy Metal (“The Ritual,” “Damned in Hell”). With few exceptions, the music holds to a fairly high standard throughout the release.

“Draw Blood” is a bit weaker than the rest, and the keyboard (!) intro to “Ashes” is rather on the unoriginal side, but other than these (un)notables, there’s very little to complain about on Don’t Fear The Reaper. The rhythm section of Sharlee D’Angelo and Martin Axenrot is dead tight and impresses throughout with phenomenal power and groove. The guitarists are already mentioned above, and the raspy voice of Toxine (Tony Kampner) suits the music perfectly.

This album should be played loud, it should be played a lot, and it should be loved and appreciated by every fan of raw, unpolished Metal. One of the highlights of the year so far.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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