WITCHERY, the Swedish black/thrash supergroup made by members from THE HAUNTED and ARCH ENEMY, have another album out called “In His Infernal Majesty’s Service“, their sixth album in their 20 years of existence. Given the intense touring/recording schedule of the members’ main bands they seem to take their time between the last 3 records. What will this album however have in store for us?
The album kicks in with “Lavey-athan”, setting the tone of the album and getting even those who don’t know the band familiar with what they’re all about. Relentless black/thrash with a modern touch riff-wise, bringing AT THE GATES and THE HAUNTED to mind. “Zoroast” goes mid-tempo, bringing more of the mosh attitude and less of the thrashy playing, with a distorted drum break at the end leading right to “Netherworld Emperor”, an old school thrasher, perfect for circle pits during live shows, before breaking into a groovy Celtic-Frost-like riff during the solo. “Nosferatu” follows with its headbang-inducing intro riff, going into a headbanging riff-fest, not holding back till the end.
“Varied and relentless black/thrash with the most discrete use of keyboards I’ve ever heard”
Full speed comes back with the razor sharp “The Burning Of Salem”, destroying everything in its path, with a spoken part of a really nice groovy break. “Gilded Fang” with its intro blastbeat, keeps up the albums speed, bringing a death metal feel to the album. Back to the old school thrashing with “Empty Tombs” and its really nice headbanging ending part. “In Warm Blood” is the clear mid-tempo headbanger of the album, giving the listener room to breathe, with a solo that brings Michael Ammott’s soloing style to mind. An eerie keyboard intro brings us the next song, “Escape from Dunwich Valley”, a darkened mid-tempo headbanger, bringing out the black metal feeling more than the rest, along with the discrete use of the keyboards throughout the album. Mosh time again, as “Feed The Gun” sets the pace and the listener’s head follows, enjoying Ola’s soloing skills throughout the record. “Oath Breaker” the album’s videoclip comes to end the album on a very brutal note, creating another relentless thrasher with a blackened keyboard driven chorus!
It takes just over 37 minutes, but WITCHERY gets the job done. Varied and relentless black/thrash with the most discrete use of keyboards I’ve ever heard on an album of that style, giving exactly what the song needs and nothing more.