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Witchskull: Coven’s Will (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

This is the second album from Australian trio Witchskull, and I can certainly see why Lee Dorrian wanted them on his label, as what we have here is a metal beast that starts off with doom, brings in psyche, swathes of Seventies influences, and then supercharges the lot to make them a six-legged entity of unstoppable force. The whole album was recorded live to tape on the first or second take, with no click track, just three guys in the studio giving their all. “From the start we only wanted to play primal music from the gut,” states drummer Joel Green. “We all have very similar tastes from our youth, so it was easy to focus on what we grew up on… and put our own spin on it. There was no specific direction, just anything that was heavy with a healthy dose of groove and swagger! It all came pretty naturally, we just let the songs evolve over time in rehearsals and they kind of arrange themselves.”

This is definitely primal, and it is also raw and honest, and the sweat and passion just drips out of the speakers. For some reason they remind me of The Hamsters, one of the UK’s hardest working trios, who played well in excess of 4,000 gigs by the time they retired after 25 years. There is something about the way they just slot in and play, which only comes with plenty of stage time together, although Witchskull are far more abrasive in their approach. This is a feel good album, it makes me feel good every time I play it! It should be required listening for anyone who has ever felt that auto tune is a good idea, to remind them just what music should be about – musicians plugging in, settling down, and playing from the heart. It rarely gets more vital than this, Seventies metal with balls.

Rating: 8/10

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Track list:
1. Raven
2. Son of the Snake
3. Priestess
4. Breathing Blue Light
5. Demon Cage
6. Spyres
7. Lord of the Void
8. The Empty Well

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Links:
https://www.facebook.com/witchskull/
https://riseaboverecords.com/

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