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Witching Hour - ...And Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon

Witching Hour
...And Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 January 2019, 6:32 AM

There are times when the ones with an open mind ask “why in the blazes do some bands try to make what is already done?”, and this question makes sense. Yes, because it’s truly difficult to earn a personality with a musical form that is already destroyed by erosion of time. The inner musical personality of a band can be heard by anyone as an album is played, and the truth is: if you’re not SODOM, HELLHAMMER, MAYHEM, SLAYER or any other band from the past, you have no right to say that you’re giving continuity to their earlier work. It’s a mere excuse for the lack of personality of many bands that even copy the graphic elements from the ancients. And besides the German trio WITCHING HOUR does a good work on “…And Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon”, some improvements must be done.

It’s a primordial form of Black/Thrash Metal from earlier years of the 80's (that many label as “Proto-Thrash Metal”), something that many headbangers have heard to exhaustion. Of course the band is talented and prefers to do something with a melodic insight, as LIVING DEATH did (not on the vocals) on “Vengeance of Hell” and “Metal Inquisition”. It isn’t anything new at all, but the melodies and efforts create some good songs with hooking arrangements. It remembers in some moments the work from NIGHT DEMON, being a bit more melodic than the North American band.

On the sound quality, again the same mistake of many: besides it’s not bad at all, why in the blazes such need to emulate the moldy and crude sound from late 70's and earlier 80's? It’s not your time, and even the ancients left such sound quality on the graveyard. It’s not so bad, the music can be understood without great efforts, but something clear and modern would fit perfectly on their work. The trio must leave the organic feeling they search for to the tunes on the next time.

There are very good ideas on songs as “…and Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon/Once Lost Souls Return” (very good guitar riffs and solos, with good melodies), the energy that flows from “From Beyond They Came”, the NWOBHM influences on the harmonies of “Behold Those Distant Skies”, and the fast tempos of “The Fading Chime of a Graveyard Bell” (bass guitar and drums are good here) are the moments when their musical talent is evident, but it needs to mature a bit more, because they’re still looking like many other bands that the listener heard before.

Once more, the same tip: look for Joel Grind on the next time, because he knows how to make something sound fresh and organic, but with a modern outfit. For now, “…and Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon” is a sample of good ideas that could be better worked in the hands of a good producer.

Originality: 5
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. …and Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon / Once Lost Souls Return
2. From Beyond They Came
3. Sorrow Blinds His Ghastly Eyes
4. Behold Those Distant Skies
5. The Fading Chime of a Graveyard Bell
6. As I Walk Among Sepulchral Ruins
Lineup:
Jan Hirtz - Vocals, Guitars
Marco Justinger - Bass, Backing Vocals
Sascha Bastian - Drums
Record Label: Hells Headbangers
     


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