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Witchcraft - Black Metal

Band: Witchcraft

Album: Black Metal

Genre: Rock

Label: Nuclear Blast

Location: Sweden

FFO: Graveyard, Blood Ceremony, Acid King

Witchcraft is a new band for me. So when I read up on them, learning they were a “Doom Metal” band, I had my hopes and my doubts. Then learning the title of the record was simply “Black Metal”, I thought I was in for a treat. Well, I did get a treat, but not the flavor I was expecting. The production on this LP is very raw and organic. It sounds as if there’s one man and his guitar sitting in a room, playing some music in front of a mic. This results in a very close interaction with the sounds. This isn’t anything new in music, but the feeling of a low acoustic string laying across my ears never fails to give me that same warm feeling.

After all pre-assumed notions were shattered with the opening seconds of this album, I quickly adjusted to what I was actually about to experience. This album is a personal acoustic journey that you’re invited on. It explores the past, and current inward reflection. (But then you also have that weird song “A Boy and A Girl” which I don’t think I understood the point of.) As a big fan of acoustic projects and artists, I can’t say I was too impressed with what Witchcraft has done here. Most of this is pretty slow and uncompelling. It’s hard to tell when one song ends and another begins, especially with the length of some of these. That’s not to say it’s all bad. I do appreciate the core sound attempting to be shown. I find the acoustic soothing and the vocals are smooth. But when you have over 30 minutes of that same exact sound with no attempt at adding any meat on the plate, it becomes rather lackluster. Not much else to say about it because of that reason. There’s hardly anything here to even dissect. It’s pretty much an even more stripped down version of what an acoustic album sounds like. Far too simplistic and reserved.

After giving a couple of their back catalog albums a go, I can’t agree that this is a doom metal band. This seems like a rock back with some interesting flavors thrown into the mix. This caused even more surprise when it came to ‘Black Metal’. This was a first for the band. An acoustic effort of all brand new songs. So I can’t really compare this to anything else they’ve done. All I can say is they are out of pocket with this release. Unfamiliar, and not experienced in the field they have ventured into. As I said before, there’s nothing really here to appreciate outside of some clean vocals and nice sounding picking. This album contains no encouragement, thirst, or reason to give it another listen.

The overall feeling when I listen to this record is this is a man who has had a pretty long, successful career, and might be getting tired. He’s older and wants to reflect, tell stories, and express himself in a new way instead of doing what he always has done. With that being said, this should’ve been a solo project. It’s centered around the vocalist, not only lyrically, but more importantly musically. Where does the rest of the band even come into play other than some guitar work, if that? Just doesn’t make sense in any way to fit into their catalog. It’s a relatively nice piece of music, but for reasons stated, it’s nothing special. The most you can take from it is some peaceful tunes when you want to fall asleep.

Rating: 6/10

Strongest Song: Grow

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/37jp2n9DdpyeBDkUlTFv9y?si=YXFosQN8QGaGXwbHHbHaGA

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/witchcraft/151247573

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