There are a lot of bands I'm hoping to see new albums from in 2012. But until that happens I'll have to make do with their most recent output. Today that band is Witchcraft.
There's a pretty large and popular trend right now in the metal underground of bands playing "occult rock" which is really just a combination of old school, early 70's rock, and varying forms of doom metal played to occult lyrics/imagery. Really it's a return to what bands like Black Sabbath, Coven and Black Widow were doing 40 years ago. Personally, I love it. A lot. However, as it always happens in the metal world there are bands that pop up that clearly are playing this type of music because it's the new "in" thing to do. It happened with the thrash revival a few years ago, it's happened with black metal, death metal, grindcore, hardcore, stoner rock, you name it. If there's a sub-genre in metal there are bandwagon bands. That's why it helps to know who the real innovators of a particular sub-genre are. That's where Witchcraft come in.
Originally released in 2007, The Alchemist is the third full-length album fromSweden'sWitchcraft. That's right, by 2007 when this new wave of occult rock started to pick up steam Witchcraft already had three albums out. So you know straight away that these guys are the real deal and they damn well have the chops to back it up. This album especially showcases their exceptional songwriting ability. The songs are dark and the concept of each was forged with the help of Old Scratch himself but the they are also catchy as hell at certain points. They aren't afraid the get heavy as a hammer to the face with their riffage but also aren't afraid to mix up compositions to include the occasional sax solo either. Their ability to craft a song as if nothing musically happened between Tony Iommi's first few riffs and today is uncanny for sure.
Fans of early 70's rock as well as more modern forms of doom metal should already be all over this band, but if you aren't (Poseur? Sorry, had to go there.) then you need to be. Immediately. Rumor has it a new album is due this coming Autumn (just in time for Halloween?!?) so it's of the utmost importance that if you consider yourself a fan of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Coven, Black Widow, St. Vitus, Candlemass, Pentagram, Cathedral, etc., etc. then you better familiarize yourself with this album post haste.