Deathwitch - _Dawn of Armageddon_
(Necropolis Records, 1997)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Lace up those white high-tops and break out the sleeveless denim vests - it's retro time yet again. This time, our blast from the past comes to us in the form of the second full-length album from Deathwitch - or maybe it's Deathwarlock now, given that Af Necrohell and Lady Death have departed to form their own band, leaving only Reaper (vocals) and Terror (everything else) to Praise the Old Gods on this recording. The first Deathwitch CD was a better-than-average hail to the 80s, and _Dawn of Armageddon_ has some cool moments as well. Overall, though, it's too formulaic and repetitious to sustain much listening interest, especially when compared to retro-competitors like Usurper or Aura Noir. Tracks like "Wrath of Sathanas" (great song) and "Eternal Fornication" go over well, thanks to the crusty nastiness of their main riffs and the groovy simplicity of their structures. But because all the album's songs are constructed according to a more or less identical formula, the feeling that you've heard it all before sets in quickly. Yet there is some enjoyable material here, including some super-primitive demo tracks featuring wacked vocals that provide welcome variation from Reaper's standard shriek. The best songs here sound engaging and authentic, but they're unfortunately surrounded by a lot of less inspired material on this release.
(article published 8/12/1997)
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