Bewitched - _Spiritual Warfare_
(Regain Records, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
If Chronicles of Chaos hasn't been especially kind to Bewitched over the years, then it's certainly not been undeserved. Like many acts who choose to wallow in metal's former glories, Bewitched's Achilles heel, as it were, has been a nagging tendency to ham up their material, resulting in what was undoubtedly meant to be a tribute sounding more like a full blown piss-take than anything else.As if to underline that a stretch served in obscurity has done them the world of good, _Spiritual Warfare_ leaves no doubt that the band have come on in leaps and bounds. Scaling back on the black metal elements that took centre stage on previous releases, Bewitched's new material oozes vintage thrash pomp and consistently strikes with corporeal accuracy. But what really helps the record steal the show are subtle touches such as the brief, spirited burst of clean singing that rounds out "Fucked by Fire". These surprises -- along with a slew of riffs laden with enough hooks to peel the skin off a grown man's face -- makes _Spiritual Warfare_ the jewel in Bewitched's otherwise rusty crown.
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