Witchery - _Don't Fear the Reaper_
(Century Media, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
It's true that much has changed since Witchery brought out _Symphony for the Devil_ in 2001. Hell, it's amazing how between all the Ozzfests, video shoots, world tours and general mainstream hobnobbing that founder members Jensen (The Haunted) and Sharlee d'Angelo (Arch Enemy) now find themselves in the midst of, they'd even find the time to resurrect something so comparatively mundane as Witchery. But the more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes; and from the moment that _Don't Fear the Reaper_ kicks in, it's like the last five years never happened.Black metal and good old fashioned rock 'n' roll collide with an overture of schlock-horror theatrics that, when it works, is downright infectious -- and surprisingly, given the length of time that the band have been in creative limbo, this time round the formula hits a bullseye more frequently than perhaps ever before. "The Ritual" takes the best bits out of "Omens" (from _Symphony for the Devil_) and proves that not only has years of incessant touring taught the band a few new tricks on their instruments, but that even at their most self-serving Witchery are still able to deliver songs remarkably strong on ambience. The trouble is that -- as with previous Witchery offerings -- once the halfway mark is ticked over, all the band's tricks are well and truly out of the bag, leaving one with an entertaining but often unremarkable album.
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