Witchcraft - Firewood LP (Black vinyl)
The 1970’s, remember those years? Probably not, but Witchcraft are unwavering in their resolve to take you back to the grooving, evil sounds that were the precursor to modern doom and heavy metal in general. Of course most Black Sabbath fans will be of the same mind that Sabbath possessed a foremost blues influence.
With “Firewood”, Witchcraft continues to masterfully meld that genre defining sound with a folksy, Jethro Tull element. This crossbreed of legendary sounds results in a vibe which, on the whole, reclaims the finest moments of those storied groups of yesteryear. This record gives off a distinctly warm aura which is at once well-known and stimulating. These guys have tapped into a tremor that is dark, yet woefully tuneful. As “Chylde Of Fire” so fiercely shows, Witchcraft pull those shadowy emotions from within and offer them up in a mode which is palatable and paganistic. Guitar-wise, the riffs are quite catchy and often very melodic. “If Wishes Were Horses” fuses melody, moodiness and a shimmering guitar tone that proves you do not always need substantial amounts of distortion in order to end up coming off as being monstrously heavy.
Indulging in tracks like the bluesy, soul driven “Mr Haze” or the dismal groan of “Queen Of Bees” is an enjoyably guilty pleasure, with Witchcraft being capable of reflecting the mystery that resides within those godlike giants that came before them. Conjuring bluesy grooves like the classic sounding “You Suffer” is a task these four pull off effortlessly, it’s tracks like this that really make you value the color that is a natural characteristic of analog tone and the group’s decision to record with retro gear. Put simply, this record is an instantaneous classic that shows Witchcraft to be the current masters of a markedly glum, mystical sound.