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Review: Witchgrave - The Devil's Night
The Devil's Night

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 13:21
Tracks: 4
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 13, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Devil's Night

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (15 Votes)

Summoning the dark, evil and especially, cheesy, specters of classic Venom, Witchgrave capture all the elements that made Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon's early work so famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view. The Devil's Night fits right in with that early, prototypical Black Metal while remaining firmly in the NWOBHM style.

I must admit, I was none too enamored with Venom back in the day, although, for some reason, I though "Manitou" was a pretty cool song. The horrific production on those early Neat releases, not to mention the less-than-stellar performances by the band themselves, just didn't seem to warrant the time needed to develop the requisite appreciation. There were far too many other, better sounding bands. Now, however, in the age of MP3s and Pro-tools, the type of low-fi, sloppy, for lack of a better word, sound Witchgrave have unleashed is a welcome slice of heaven, er, make that hell.

Each of the four songs on The Devil's Night assaults your ears mercilessly with muddy bass, overly fuzzy guitars and the croaking growls of singer/bassist Jocke. And you know, they all sound great. Venom is the clear reference point but other well known NWOBHM bands, like Iron Maiden and Blitzkrieg, can also be heard in the mix. Capturing the essence of a time gone by, without becoming a caricature, yet at the same time being a bit cartoonish (come on, you can't take a song called "Satanic Slut" seriously) is an outstanding accomplishment. The only downside I can find is that there are only four songs on The Devil's Night, and three are under three minutes. The fun is over almost before it begins.

The Devil's Night is excellent old school Black/NWOBHM. I am definitely looking forward to a full-length CD from these Swedish newcomers. Beelzebub is pleased, as will you be when you check out Witchgrave.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Devil's Night (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Witchgrave (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Witchgrave (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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