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Stormwitch - Witchcraft (CD)

Stormwitch
Witchcraft
by Grigoris Chronis at 18 October 2004, 9:25 PM

Do you wanna take a trip back to the past for a moment, when Heavy Metal meant unity, the bands were absolutely true and, anyway, there was a special mood in the entire Metal scene? It was the early 80s, and while the NWOBHM movement was kicking the world's ass, in Germany things were a little bit different. Apart from the already familiar names of Scorpions and Accept, many bands with a special teutonic sound were coming out, bands like Avenger (pre-Rage), Helloween, Running Wild, Gravestone, Veto, High Tension, Sinner, Steeler… and Stormwitch.
Formed in 1979, under the first former name Lemon Sylvan, vocalist Andreas Muck, guitarist Harold Lee Tarot Spengler and Stefan Steve Merchant Kauffmann renamed the band as Stormwitch and  released their debut album, Walpurgis Night, through Scratch Records in 1984 - following it up with Tales Of Terror (1985), gaining nearly cult status in Mid-North Europe. A third album, Stronger Than Heaven, arrived in 1986 adding portions of melody and atmosphere to the band's so far primitive sound. 1988's The Beauty And The Beast album also marked that direction, offering Stormwitch a wider approval among Metal fans, soon the band to become known as the masters of black romanticism. Suffering from various lineup changes for over a decade, with Shogun (1994) Stormwitch recorded their last album before the witch was buried. But not that deep…
Was it Hammerfall's assistance, with their remake of Ravenlord (originally on the Stronger Than Heaven LP) plus their wider promotion of the Stormwitch legend, that helped the band rise from its ashes? Without that being in the wrong, I strongly cry out Yes! Even if it was a little bit off-beat, Stormwitch reunited and released the remarkably old-sparked Dance With The Witches album in 2002 through the Silverdust label. And now, having just signed to the attraction of European Metal labels, the witchcrafters offer us the chance to travel… They have managed to capture the feeling of their earlier works while Witchcraft is wrapped up in a modern crystal clear production that helps the music evolve and leaves much room to the musicians to bring forward all the elements they wish to. It surely is classic and straight Stormwitch Metal, while in the album you'll also find interesting ballads (e.g. Sleeping Beauty), much in the tradition of the 80s. For the old loyal Stormwitch fans every song has this certain magic, either speedy (The Sinister Child), folksy (The Drinking Song) or really nicely kitschy (Witchcraft), not having lost a step. Passionate vocals from Andy Muck, perfectly executed guitar work by Martin Winkler (ex-Nightwolf) and Fabian Schwarz (ex-Tyran Pace/Ritual Spirit) plus the calculated rhythm section and keyboard support altogether sum up to a dozen of songs simply irresistible with the secure Stormwitch craftsmanship.
Declaring historical rights, Witchcraft proves itself why the band should belong on the top of the German Heavy Metal scene and that the impression cult is made for them. But, if you're not that familiar with the band's back-catalogue treasures… let me help you… Just imagine things being a lot different for bands like Hammerfall and you have the picture.
- Album Highlights: The Sinister Child, At The Break Of This Day, Witchcraft and The Kiss Of Death

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
The Sinister Child
At The Break Of This Day
Fallen From God
Frankenstein/s Brothers
Until The War Will End
Witchcraft
Sleeping Beauty
Puppet In A Play
The Kiss Of Death
Moonfleet
Salome
The Drinking Song
Blood Lies In My Hand (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Andy Muck - Vocals
Martin Winkler - Guitars
Fabian Schwarz - Guitars
Alexander Schmidt - Keyboards
Dominik Schwarz - Bass
Marc Oppold - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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