Witching Metal Webzine

Witching Metal Webzine

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Degial - Death's Striking Wings

Sweden’s Degial (formally Degial of Embos) have been around since 2004 and released three demos under their old moniker before changing their name and releasing another demo, followed four years later by an EP and now, finally, their debut album, entitled “Death’s Striking Wings” has been unleashed upon mankind…

Some of you reading this will probably think “eh, just another Swedeath band” and move on, but Degial are so much more than that. Sure, they pay tribute to the old masters (Dismember, Treblinka, Merciless, Nihilist, etc. etc.) but their sound is more akin to early Possessed, early Slayer and Morbid Angel’s legendary debut, with a touch of Dissection-esque flair. You’ll find some ripping thrashy riffs alongside pummeling beats and twisted solos, with the occasional melodic hook thrown in for good measure. The raw and primitive production suits the well-thought-out yet demented song writing style of the band, although the vocals do get buried occasionally, which is unfortunate, but not too much of a distraction.

“Death’s Striking Wings” is definitely not the most original record out at the moment, but with songs like; “Death's Striking Wings”, “Black Grave (The Gateway)” and “Swarming”, it will definitely leave a shit-eating grim on even the most jaded death metal fan. It’s not “Seven Churches” or “Altars of Madness”, but it’s as good or better than anything the Morbid Ones have released since, and that’s good enough for me.

Degial’s debut is a fine addition to my collection that fits in well alongside my Tribulation, Repugnant, Angelcorpse and Cemetery Urn albums.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vagabond's Band of the Week: Weregoat

Band: Weregoat
Year of Formation: 2009
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Genre: Black/Death Metal

Based in Portland, Oregon, Weregoat play bestial and chaotic black/death metal in the vein of Blasphemy and Archgoat. They caught my attention late last year with their debut EP "Unholy Exaltation of Fullmoon Perversity" and have recently released a killer split with New Zealand horde Diocletian. I highly recommend both of these releases to fans of rabid bestial black/death metal.

Click here to read my review of their EP.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Air Raid - Danger Ahead

Gothenburg’s Air Raid is one of the few traditional metal bands to catch my attention this year. Back in April, they released their debut EP entitled “Danger Ahead” on Stormspell Records. They also released a full length about two weeks ago, entitled “Night of the Axe”.

Things are instantly kicked into high gear with the opening track “When the Sky Turns Read”, a high-octane, straight forward heavy metal track laden with guitar solos, soaring vocals and galloping riffs that would make Iron Maiden themselves proud. The second track, “Annihilation” is my favourite off this EP, and it is a bit slower than the opener and really takes it’s time, allowing the riffs to really breathe. “The Metal Cult” is full of power and could be considered a heavy metal anthem. “Midnight Burner” is another stand out and it would have sounded right at home on a late 80s Judas Priest album. There are also two tracks from their demo tacked to the end of the EP, which serve as a pretty cool extra.

Although Air Raid hail from Sweden, their sound is very British, incorporating heavy influences from Saxon and Judas Priest, as well as the aforementioned Iron Maiden. These young Swedes have really taken the NWOBHM sound and made it their own.

“Danger Ahead” is well played, well written and well produced, leaving me anxious to get my hands on “Night of the Axe” when I get the chance. Don’t sleep on this if you dig classic, fist pumping, heavy metal in the vein of Saxon, Cloven Hoof, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Omega Reign- Arise Review

I've probably said this before and I'll say it again a thousand times: the US needs more good power metal. Power metal grew along side thrash in the 80s, the US produced some great gems like Metal Church, Apollo Ra, Attacker, and a slew of other great bands. Anyways, enough of the history lesson, I've got contemporary material today.

Omega Reign are a US power metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. Forming in 1998, 14 years later they've finally put out a debut, Arise. Perhaps it was worth the wait.

It was hard for me to pinpoint the band's sound, although a lot of it sounds like Thunder Steel-era Riot mixed with a bit of early  Anthrax. The opening song, "Doomsday," thunders across the soundwaves with its heavy and fast riffs. The song is packed with so much energy, the vocals just soar across everything. Things then slow down for the next two songs, "Prison in your eyes" and "This Poem is Goodbye." The former is a mid tempo gallop, reminiscent of something from Riot's Thunder Steel, whilst the latter is more of a heavy ballad. It sort of drops the feeling with the album for me, but it's not a very cheesy ballad at all (Poison couldn't write this good). Things pick back up with the next batch of songs. "Nocturnal" is another mid-tempo rocker with pumping riffs and hooky vocals. There's a really cool downtime section, where everything seems to just space out, then it builds up speed with a shredding solo. The next song is one of my favorites off of this album, "The Way You Lived." The main riff is just huge, and pounds your face like Thor's hammer. It doesn't sound like anything from the 80s but it doesn't sound like a modern metal band either. There's a cool clean part in the middle, with a slow David Gilmour-esque solo, and then it drives back into the dirt and grit. Another ballad, "Bitter," is played but things are quickly saved with "Killer," an all-out grooving headbanger. "Killer" reminds me of the late 70s Judas Priest riffs from Killing Machine, the fucking groove, man! And then to end it with, "Invisible World the Eidolon." It starts off with a slow, heavy gallop and then breaks out into a flurry towards the middle. A good ending bang.

For a self-produced album, the sound is rather good. Everything is mixed well and you can really hear all the instruments clearly. The vocals remind me of a young Joey Belladonna and the guitars would make any 80s power metal band proud. Nothing is too over the top, but neither does the band hold anything back.

Overall, it's a very solid album. Ballads kind of threw me off, I think there should be a limit of one per album (sorry guys!), but the rest of the tracks just kick your ass. So if you're in the mood for some kick-ass USPM like old school Riot, then pick up this little gem!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vagabond's Band of the Week: Adversarial

Band: Adversarial
Year of Formation: 2007
Country of Origin: Canada
Genre: Black/Death Metal

Hailing from Canada, Adversarial is a relatively new to appear on my radar. Taking obvious inspiration from bands such as (early) Morbid Angel, (early) Deicide, Angelcorpse, Blasphemy, Revenge and the like, Adversarial can also be compared to countrymen and labelmates Begrime Exemious in that they play some seriously mind-bending and gritty old-school black/death metal, making them a perfect candidate for the Dark Descent Records roster.

To date that have released a demo ("Thralls" - 2008), a full length ("All Idols Fall Before the Hammer" - 2010), an EP ("Prophetic plain of Abyssal Revelation" - 2011) and a split with fellow Canadian extremists Antediluvian earlier this year. I would recommend any of these releases to all fans of raw and violent Canadian filth.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vagabond's Band of the Week: Drawn and Quartered

I've decided to start something new on Witching Metal, to add a bit more variety to the site. From now on, I will be doing a short "band of the week" mini-article about metal bands that deserve your attention.

Band: Drawn and Quartered
Year of Formation: 1993
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal

Drawn and Quartered is a death metal band from Seattle, whom a friend recommended to me a couple of months ago. They've been around since the "golden age" of death metal, but didn't release an album until 1999. Unfortunately, they are not a very well-known band, which I believe might be due to them releasing their debut so late in the 90's. They can be compared to bands such as Immolation, Incantation, Morbid Angel and Monstrosity, but really are a band who forged their own musical path.

I own three of their albums, each of which I would highly recommend. These albums are; "Extermination Revelry", "Hail Infernal Darkness" and "Feeding Hell's Furnace". This band is essential listening for any OSDM maniac.

Click here for my review of their latest album.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Deiphago – Satan Alpha Omega

Filipino warmongers Deiphago are back with another filthy onslaught of noisy black metal terror! These guys have been on a role since releasing their first full length in 2006 and producing some of the most truly “extreme” sounding metal that I have heard. “Satan Alpha Omega” continues to tread the path that these Filipino Antichrists embarked on way back in 1989…

The one thing that makes Deiphago stand out from the pack of “war metal” styled bands is their raw and brutal intensity, which puts them on a similar tier to Conqueror, Revenge, Bestial Warlust and AmpĆ¼tator. The guitars are shrouded in an abrasive wall of noise that totally obscures the riffs, the drums provide extremely chaotic blast beats that are controlled with a certain element of restraint which holds everything together and saves the album from careening off the rails, the bass is much more audible than on previous works, bringing with it a suitably more disgusting atmosphere, Voltaire 666’s vocal work provides some of the most inhuman shrieks and bestial growls that I have ever had the (dis)pleasure of hearing. Deiphago’s music is not for the faint of heart.

While the music is uncomfortable and sounds like it was recorded in a mental institution, there has always been a method to Deiphago’s madness. Sidapa is a classically trained musician and his song structures are rather well thought-out before being buried underneath an uncompromising mound of nihilistic and primordial ugliness.

All in all, “Satan Alpha Omega” is a big improvement over their sophomore album “Filipino Antichrist” (which was a step-down from their debut, in my opinion) and may just be the bands greatest release yet.

War metal enthusiasts will love this album. Everyone else will hate it.