WITCHERY — Symphony for the Devil (review)

WITCHERY — Symphony for the Devil album cover Album · 2001 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Symphony for the Devil" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Witchery. The album was released through Necropolis Records in September 2001. It´s the successor to "Dead, Hot and Ready" from 1999. Witchery was always a sort of project act as all involved also had other obligations with artists like Mercyful Fate, Arch Enemy, Opeth, Bloodbath, and The Haunted, but they´ve found time in their busy schedules to write and record "Symphony for the Devil".

Stylistically "Symphony for the Devil" is generally more of the same, so if you´re familiar with the blackened heavy/speed metal style of the preceding releases you´ll find few surprises here. In this particular case familiarity with the sound isn´t an issue though as Witchery deliver their music with a burning passion and great conviction. These guys are incredibly well playing but they are also skilled composers, who understand how a song affects a listener. The material on the 12 track (some versions omit the two closing tracks), 46:49 minutes long album is powerful, raw, and catchy blackened heavy/speed metal. So it´s both hard edged, fast, heavy, and more melodic (actually not far from the sound Mercyful Fate had in the 90s, just featuring extreme vocals). The blackened part of their sound is mainly due to the raspy vocal delivery, because other than that, and a limited amount of sections in the instrumental part of the music, this is traditional heavy/speed metal more than anything else.

The atmosphere is dark and occult which is further enhanced by the lyrical content. The sound production is clear, powerful, and raw, bringing out the best in the material. So upon conclusion "Symphony for the Devil" is yet another strong album release by Witchery and it´s certainly not audible that this project probably wasn´t the first priority for some of the members at the time. The songwriting is top notch, the musicianship on a high level, and the sound production is professional and well sounding, so all in all a 4 star (80%) rating isn´t all wrong.
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