Witchmaster - Trucizna
Nick Lewis 09/08/2009
Black/thrash metal is a strange beast. It's such a difficult sound to understand if you don't normally listen to it. My first reaction to this album (as I'm sure most people's would be) was one of resignation to say the least. Extreme forms of metal are by nature relentless, and if that's not what you look for when you listen to music, it's difficult to see past that and judge it on its own merits.
However, I did listen to a lot of metal when I was a teenager, and as difficult as it is for me to judge whether this is good or bad metal now, I think it might be on the good side. The riffs are pretty classic fare, reminiscent of 1980s Metallica style speed metal, but obviously beefed up as it all is nowadays. And I have to say, even as a non-metal fan, there is a certain thrill to music this aggressive and uncompromising. What I'll never understand though is the unintelligible, guttural shouting that bands like this are prone to. No doubt I don't want to hear what the lyrics actually are, so on balance it's probably a good thing, but it would certainly make it more palatable if they didn't do it.
To my ears Witchmaster have essentially just updated the classics riffs of thrash. There's nothing new here and nothing that will convert the non-metal fan by any stretch of the imagination. As far as I can tell from the friends I have who like this sort of thing, that doesn't matter though: it's good if it has crushing riffs, and after listening to this I feel like I've been hit with a boulder. Judged on its own terms then, this is a decent black/thrash album and I feel sure it will have got good reviews in the specialist metal press. Unfortunately, I abandoned that scene years ago, so to me, for all its relative merits, it's just relentless noise.