venerdì 30 dicembre 2016

Black Witchery - "Evil Shall Prevail" (Nuclear War Now! Productions, 2016)

Band: Black Witchery
Title: Evil Shall Prevail
Genre: Bestial Black/Death metal
Year: 1997-1999 (2016 reissue)
Time: 78 min
Rating: 80/100



Ladies and gentlemen, a retrospective compilation about the very early Black Witchery is recently released on CD and double vinyl by the infamous Nuclear War Now! Productions! This compilation titled “Evil Shall Prevail” contains even 18 songs per 78 minutes of non-stop violence in Black Witchery-style ranging, without a precise chronological order, from an obscure 1997’s demo (when this trio was still known as Witchery) to the split album of 1999 with the Canadians Conqueror “Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance”.

So, the compilation starts just with the homonymous “Evil Shall Prevail”, 1998 demo released with the Witchery’s moniker of which cover artwork is the same of this compilation. This demo shown yet a band of an absolute primitivism and a violence so maximalist to drown the listeners in a monolithic sea of blast-beats, excluding only the last minute in mid-tempo of “Summoning of Infernal Legions” and the first 2 minutes and a half of “Destruction of the Holy Kingdom”, a song strangely dynamic for the standards of the trio. But, despite the band we know today, at the time the (Black) Witchery played in a more black metal and “Norwegian” manner, thanks, for example, to the screams à la Fenriz of Impurath and to the very raw, freezing and sometimes “melodic” (yes, you read very well!) riffing, and all this supported both by a noisy production typical of a ’90s black metal demo and by long songs without guitar solos.

After this and after one year, the band, now known as Black Witchery “due to ambiguous circumstances concerning Witchery from Sweden”, change a bit its own music so to make it, if possible, more merciless. In fact, with the split “Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance”, the riffs, especially in songs like “Unholy Vengeance of War” and “Into Damnation Eternal”, are more death metal-oriented while the production is very cavernous. In this way, the general sound is now very close to the masters of Black Witchery, the Blasphemy, of which is coverized “Demoniac”, very stick to the original. In other words, Black Witchery started with this split to play their unique bestial black/death metal, also if re-recording “Black Witching Metal” (which is one of the definitions used by Blasphemy to dub their music) and “Summoning of Infernal Legions”, pure black metal songs taken from the previous demo.
The compilation continues to hammer our precious ears with a darkthronian black metal before with the 1998 EP “Summoning of Infernal Legions” and after with “Demo 1997”, each one with 2 songs. The EP contains a curious version of “Destruction of the Holy Kingdom” where is even a very atmospheric part with clean guitar played in arpeggio while the demo (each song of it is preceded by also very long intros) shows a band strangely able of ultra-doom metal passages, like in the last moments of “As Grim Shadows Drape the Heavens”. Wow, I had never heard the Black Witchery in “slow mode” before!

After these songs, there is the “Black Vomit” cover of Sarcofago (another fundamental influence for the band), appeared for the first time on a tribute-compilation to the Brazilian band released in 2001 and where the Black Witchery are almost unrecognizable also due to an Impurath able to spews forth a falsetto! And, finally, there are the 4 alternate takes of every song (excluded the one of “Summoning of Infernal Legions”) of the split with Conqueror to closing the compilation. These alternate takes are very raw at almost psychedelic levels but, said frankly, they are totally useless because they don’t add something different.
Said all this, “Evil Shall Prevail” is a must-have for every fan of Black Witchery also if it contains too doubles. But the important thing is that the compilation shows the early days of Black Witchery through also surprising versions so to do understand to everyone where the band was started to create its very raw and unique sound for which is well known and idolized today. But, ultimately, the music of Black Witchery has always been the same, ultra-violent and primitive, for an incorruptible immobility without compromises that is very incredible. But it is incredible also the chemistry of this trio, which has always been the same from 1997 and 2013 with the singer/bassist Impurath, the drummer Vaz and the guitarist Tregenda (aka Steve Childers, unfortunately dead in early 2016 at 49 years long due to a car accident after leaving Black Witchery 3 years ago to play in the reformed death/thrashers Public Assassin). Now, the Black Witchery, strong of the new guitarist Alal’Xhaasztur (yet in Hellvetron and in the absurd Nyogthaeblisz), dominates on an ultra-extreme underground where many new bands have been strongly influenced by the gestures of the Black Witchery and the likes to play, if possible, the style of the last ones in an even more brutal way. Meanwhile, Black Witchery don’t release a new album since 2010.

1 – Black Witching Metal
2 – Evil Shall Prevail
3 – Summoning of Infernal Legions
4 – Destruction of the Holy Kingdom
5 – Unholy Vengeance of War
6 – Black Witching Metal
7 – Summoning of Infernal Legions
8 – Into Damnation Eternal
9 – Demoniac (Blasphemy cover)
10 – Summoning of Infernal Legions
11 – Destruction of the Holy Kingdom
12 – Intro – Black Flames of Impure Desire
13 – Intro – As Grim Shadows Drape the Heavens
14 – Black Vomit (Sarcofago cover)
15 – Unholy Vengeance of War
16 – Black Witching Metal
17 – Into Damnation Eternal
18 – Demoniac (Blasphemy cover)


Impurath – voce/basso
Tregenda – chitarre
Vaz – batteria

Official site:
Nuclear War Now! Prod:

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