Witchery

Witchkrieg

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This album, the fifth by long-running Swedish thrash act Witchery, is the first to feature new vocalist Legion, formerly of Marduk. That's in addition to the presence of Haunted guitarist Patrik Jensen, Mercyful Fate/Arch Enemy bassist Sharlee D'Angelo and Opeth's Martin Axenrot on drums. Witchkrieg is even more of an all-star affair than the band's previous output, though, as several tracks include guest guitar solos. The opening title track is augmented by some squeals from Slayer's Kerry King; "The God Who Fell from Earth" features D'Angelo's former Mercyful Fate bandmate, Hank Shermann; "The Reaver" brings in both Gary Holt and Lee Altus of Exodus; "From Dead to Worse" has a solo by King Diamond's guitarist, Andy LaRocque, and Jim Durkin of Dark Angel plays on "One Foot in the Grave." This gives the album a somewhat patchwork feel, as there's no dominant lead guitar style to augment the band's fairly basic thrash/death songs, but Witchkrieg is still a solid disc, and Legion's vocals add a pleasingly creepy/hostile vibe without pulling the band too much in the direction of black metal -- he's doing a different thing here than he did with Marduk, and doing it well.

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