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Review: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell
Give 'em Hell

Label: Rondelet Records
Year released: 1980
Duration: 35:52
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 18, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (7 Votes)

In 1980, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was on the rise with a ton of bands releasing singles, EPs and albums. Chesterfield's Witchfynde released the first of two albums that year, their debut Give 'Em Hell on the small Rondelet Records label. The demon goat under a pentagram on the cover might look like early Venom and Bathory albums, but Witchfynde played the hard rock/heavy metal so typical of many early NWOBHM bands. Their blueprint was the thick reverb and heavy bass of Sabbath combined with the rocking riffs and melodies of UFO and Thin Lizzy. Take "The Divine Victim," which possesses a foot-tapping riff and bright, major chord changes on the chorus but also a darker midsection. Then you've got one of the band's most well-known tracks, due in no small part to its inclusion on Lars Ulrich's '79 Revisited compilation of New Wave of British Heavy Metal songs, "Leaving Nadir." After a lengthy, somewhat rambling intro, Witchfynde burst into an amazing riff that just crushes with early metallic power and some nicely occult lyrics. The rest of Give 'Em Hell is in the same vein, though never reaching the heights of "Leaving Nadir." In fact, it is like so many of those NWOBHM albums, many of which current labels have resurrected in case you missed them the first time around, that were built around one or two really good songs and rounded out with what was essentially filler. Still, the cover probably gave Cronos and Quorthon some food for thought.

Give 'Em Hell isn't a bad album, but it is far from the best the NWOBHM had to offer. If you dig the rocking early releases from bands like Saxon, Girlschool, Battleaxe, Gaskin, etc., you owe it to yourself to give this album a listen as it truly captures the sound of 40+ years ago.

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