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Witchlords - Demons in the Dark

Demons in the Dark
by Rachel Montgomery at 20 April 2019, 1:40 PM

WITCHLORD are a band from Belgium, who just released their first album last month. They started their band inspired by a love of tabletop gaming and 80s metal, recreating the sound from the era. Would I recommend it? Yes, yes, and…maybe. I absolutely love the tribal sound of this album. The one criticism I have is that the sound quality isn’t that great; it could be clearer to expose the different elements in the album, and that’s something I’m personally a stickler about.

However, if you like early 80s-sounding metal, I’d recommend checking them out. I love the cold open of the opening track, “Demons in the Dark”; especially because it adds to the atmosphere of the album. It takes what would otherwise be a solid-but-conventional (for the genre) track and adds some narrative context. I don’t know how to feel about the screaming edge to the vocals in “The Hero’s Fate” and elsewhere on the album. If it were more common in Power Metal (as opposed to other subgenres that utilize it more like Black Metal), I might have a problem with it, but it gives it a unique edge and I prefer it over a nice-sounding vocalist who only tries to mimic Bruce Dickinson. So even though it’s not nice and melodic, I have to give it a plus. “The Horde” is another slow opener, but it gets right into the mood of the song and elicits some good emotions. It made me realize how well-mixed the tracks were; the first three tracks have their own distinct qualities and the songs don’t sound monotonous when you listen to one after the other.

The rest of the album becomes more uniform, or monotonous, depending on your tastes. However, these songs are all short, thrashing powerhouses that are fun and get you pumped. This is another one of those albums I’d listen to at the gym, or if I were running. Overall, WITCHLORDS’ new album is a solid, vintage work that uses an old production style to recreate an older sound. Those have been a dime a dozen, and as a reviewer, I love it when I can pick out something distinct from these albums. And while the latter tracks become monotonous, they’re short, and since WITCHLORDS delivered in the earlier tracks, I’ll give it a pass.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1 Demons in the Dark
2 The Hero's Fate
3 The Horde
4 The Sorcerer's Spell
5 Tomb Kings
6 Blood for the Bloodgod
7 Master of Fear
8 Slaughter
9 Green Menace
10 Chaos
Thomas Lambeir - Drums
Kristof Dedene - Vocals/Guitar
Pieter Moris - Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 May 2020

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