WITCHFINDER GENERAL - Death Penalty Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)
Witchfinder General

WITCHFINDER GENERAL - Death Penalty Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

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As my title implies, Witchfinder General bases their sound and lyrical content heavily on what Black Sabbath did, even going as far as to name themselves after a horror film like Black Sabbath did. While many of their other NWOBHM counterparts like Girlschool, Iron Maiden, and Venom were more interested in playing fast and taking things up a notch, Witchfinder General were keeping in tradition with early heavy metal by playing slow, ominous, horror movie inspired music.

While the music here does sound similar to Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General does tweak their sound a bit as to not sound like a complete clone of Black Sabbath. The lack of blues in their music for instance, as well as the more complex guitar solos that tend to be faster than the usual tempos of the riffs themselves, a perfect example being the solo in "Burning A Sinner". The singer Zeeb, while being a decent singer, sometimes loses a bit of control of his voice when trying to sing in a higher pitch. This is very noticeable in the song "Invisible Hate" when he tries to hit a high note and his voice cracks. The musicians here are all very competent, and keep things very tight. The music here is also heavier than that of most other NWOBHM bands, with the possible exception of Venom. The overall production is pretty clean, nothing very raw. The album art is also rather amusing, watching the band trying to mercilessly stab a topless witch in a cemetery.

While never achieving the success or notoriety of NWOBHM superstars Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, Witchfinder General have nonetheless gained a rather large cult following over the years, and remain underground legends in the heavy metal scene. If you are interested at all in the NWOBHM movement, the roots of doom metal, or just enjoy good old fashioned heavy metal, then I just cannot recommend this album enough. You will not at all be disappointed

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