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Witchmaster – Kaźń

by Thomas Kumke at 23 January 2023, 5:42 AM

WITCHMASTER hailing from Zielona Gora, Poland were formed in 1996. The Black and Thrash Metal outfit released three EPs and five full-length albums during their career. The sixth release was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Haldor Grunberg (BEHEMOTH; DOPELORD; SAURON) and Inferno (BEHEMOTH; AZARATH) at Wieloslad Studio. “Kaźń” has a length of about 38 minutes, and it was released via Polish Black and Death Metal specialists Agonia Records.

The album starts with the few seconds long intro “Sound Of Crushed Skull”, before the album starts with powerful riffing, blast-beats, and brutal growling vocals, ranging around the medium end of the guttural range. “War Metal Haiku” is a song of incredible speed and aggression. The guitar riffing is simple, but very effective and so are the vocals, which have a lot of Black Metal vibes. Despite a playing time of just under two minutes, there is time for a short and crazy lead guitar solo. “War Metal Haiku” is a kick-in-your-face in all aspects and a great opening song. “Alle Gegen Alle“, meaning “All Against All” starts with an atmospheric intro and then turns into mid-tempo song with switches to blast-beat driven fast parts. The riffing is again simple, but there is more complexity in the song structure due to the tempo switches. The growls sound slightly lower compared to “War Metal Haiku”. The song finishes with an insane SLAYER-esque lead guitar solo. “Poison Chalice“ continues with blackened Death/Thrash Metal assault. The riffing has a lot of Thrash Metal vibes and there is a lot of speed in the song driven by the relentless drumming of INFERNO.

Zdychaj Kurwo Nazarenska” is another track of insane pace and incredible brutality. The vocals have the typical Black Metal vibes again, while the drumming is in principle a three-minute blast-beat exercise. Highlight is the crazy lead guitar solo. “All Consuming Hate” starts with a short intro, before the song seamlessly continues with the sound of “Zdychaj Kurwo Nazarenska”. The riffing is more Thrash Metal inspired and so is the drumming at times, despite all that, the overall sound is dark and blackened. The song is one of the very few ones with a down-tempo break. “Circle Of Bayonets” starts with Thrash Metal riffing and crunching bass lines at mid-tempo. There is a lot of double-bass drumming and only a few blast-beats. “Circle Of Bayonets” is perhaps the catchiest and the slowest track on the album at least up to the point when the lead guitar solo starts. “Hostile Declaration” raises the heat, pace, and aggression level. There are a lot of twists in rhythm throughout the track and several short lead guitar solos.

Master Knife Sacrifice” starts with powerful and dark riffing at a measured pace and then transitions into the verse part of crazy speed and aggression. There are a lot of tempo switches between blast-beat driven parts at blistering pace and mid-tempo parts. At the end, the track returns to the initial dark melodies. “Like Flies On Scum” starts with Thrash Metal riffing and double-bass drumming at a fast pace. The tempo is raised as the blast-beats and the vocals kick in. There is a frequent tempo switch between the blast-beat driven insane pace parts and the double-bass driven thrashier fast parts throughout the track. It is one of the few tracks without lead guitar solo. “Rune Of Destruction” has plenty of Black Metal vibes in terms of the overall sound. The guitar riffing is again straight, direct, and aggressive. Highlight of the song is the short lead guitar solo.

White Madness” is another brutal assault right from the start. Driven by the riffing, the drumming, the crushing basslines at high pace, the vocals are one of the highlights as they offer more versatility compared to most tracks on the album. “White Madness” is a bludgeoning from the first to the last second without mercy. “Trails Of Blood” is one of the more Thrash Metal inspired tracks in terms of the guitar riffing and the drumming. The verse parts are at a fast tempo, while the chorus parts are more towards mid-tempo. There is a mid-tempo break with once again almost catchy riffing at a head-banging rhythm. The following lead guitar solo is very contributing. The album finishes with the title song and with another hammering and fast track. There are a lot of twists in rhythm, while keeping the tempo fast. It is a perfect final song as it represents the overall sound of the album very well. “Kaźń” is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below.

WITCHMASTER do what WITCHMASTER do best: they release a 30-minute pummeling of the listener without mercy. There is no break and there is no change in sound, it is a mixture of Thrash Metal inspired riffing, Death and Black Metal inspired drumming, and Black Metal inspired vocals. The riffing is direct and aggressive, the drumming is a thunderstorm of blast-beats and double-bass, and the basslines are crushing. The album is well produced. Fans of Thrash, Death, and Black Metal will love the album and should get very excited to see WITCHMASTER live on stage.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Sound Of Crushed Skull
2. War Metal Haiku
3. Alle Gegen Alle
4. Poison Chalice
5. Zdychaj Kurwo Nazarenska
6. All Consuming Hate
7. Circle Of Bayonets
8. Hostile Declaration
9. Master Knife Sacrifice
10. Like Flies On Scum
11. Rune Of Destruction
12. White Madness
13. Trails Of Blood
14. Kaźń
Bastis – Vocals
Kali – Guitars, Vocals
Inferno – Drums
Reyash – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Agonia Records


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