Black Witchery - _Desecration of the Holy Kingdom_
(Full Moon Productions, 2002)
by: Matthias Noll (7.5 out of 10)
Following the split CD with Conqueror, titled _Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance_, this is the first full-length by Black Witchery. The first booklet page sets the stage quite well by hailing "all Black Cult WarMetal Terrorist Elitist Goatworshippers who praise the true Black Metal Underground Darkness". Additional salutes to Blasphemy, Conqueror, Revenge and Impiety leave no doubt which audience Black Witchery are targeting with _Desecration of the Holy Kingdom_. Unfortunately the following pictures of the three band members look as menacing as a bunch of kids dressed up for Wimpoween, which together with the whole 'trver than trve' attitude which is on display here starts to backfire and triggers an eerie voice in my head which keeps whispering "poseurs, poseurs". Leaving the task of identifying and eliminating every poseur in Florida to the re-animated Nasty Savage, I have to say that _DotHK_ is nevertheless quite impressive. This is not as over-the-top as Revenge or Conqueror, but Black Witchery have at least managed to record an only slightly inferior war metal version of Marduk's _Panzerdivision Marduk_. It's mainly the cascading style of riffing, the rhythmic vocal delivery and the inexorable blasting from start to finish which justifies this comparison. Sound-wise, Black Witchery come across as a lot dirtier and less polished, and it's the overall approach rather than the actual chord progressions that makes Marduk come to mind. I see quite some room for improvement, especially in the vocal department --permanently adding a second voice or different vocal effects like in the title track could work wonders, reducing some of the monotony while upping the violence level even further. Overall this is quite a decent record, but one which ultimately doesn't really manage to keep the listener interested from start to finish. Still, a salvo of two or three tracks at the right point in time can be a deadly affair, and this could be the right purchase to satisfy your appetite for more war metal once you give the impressive new Impiety (_Kaos Kommand 696_) a break.

(article published 11/4/2003)

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