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Review: Witchery - In His Infernal Majesty's Service
In His Infernal Majesty's Service

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 37:46
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black/Thrash


Review online: November 25, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (16 Votes)

With former/current members of acts like Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate and Satanic Slaughter, these guys don't need me to introduce them, but for those who don't know, the band was formed in 1997 by Sharlee D'Angelo (bass), Richard Corpse and Patrik Jensen (guitars) and every now and then they like to release a little monster into the wild.

I've been into the band for a good 10 years now, and I always found it too bad that they are neglected in favor of Patrick Jensen's main act The Haunted. It's been six years since their last output Witchkrieg – album that featured former Marduk frontman Legion – which received mixed feelings from fans and media but was somewhat accepted as a good effort. In His Infernal Majesty's Service has a few changes in the lineup with Angus Norder (Nekokraft) and Christofer Barkensjö (Lill, ex-Kaamos) taking over the vocals and drums, respectively, but the effort pretty much continues where its predecessor left off. There are 13 songs divided in less than 40 minutes of fist-pumping, fast-paced Thrash with rapid-fire style, great hooks and evil atmosphere; none of the songs clock over four minutes, making the experience frantic and visceral. I give special attention to the middle portion of the album, especially to the songs "Nosferatu" and "The Burning of Salem". Curiously enough, these two are very similar to Sodom's characteristic style of play, with Angus' voice even resembling Tom Angelripper's harsh vocals on the former. There are also some groovier (sort of melodic, even) tracks such as "Zoroast" and "Feed the Gun" that mix things up a bit, injecting a dose of unpretentiousness to the album. The overproduction and the absence of more solos are two downsides to the play; this type of rendition of Thrash Metal doesn't require an overdone production work and at times the experience feels sort of mechanical and overly modern.

When Witchery plays straight-up blackened thrash, it's where In His Infernal Majesty's Service is at its best: pure riffing, guttural and aggressive vocals and hellish war drums blows the crap out of your speakers. However, when there's a little bit of experimentation, the album loses a little bit of steam and falls in an uncomfortable common place (ironic, isn't it?) for the genre. Overall, this is a very solid album and well worthy of the Witchery name.

More about Witchery...
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Interview with Richard Corpse on October 19, 2001 (Interviewed by Christian Renner)
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