Witchfinder General

Death Penalty

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Unlike many of their New Wave of British Heavy Metal peers who injected their music with a certain punk attitude, Witchfinder General drank strictly from the Black Sabbath fountain. Their 1982 debut, Death Penalty, is a celebration of all things Sabbath -- from the plodding rhythms of "Burning a Sinner" and "R.I.P." to the early-Sabs intro of "No Stayer," and even the band's rocking "Paranoid" knock-off, "Free Country." Singer Zeeb Parkes' range is rather limited, but that never stopped Ozzy Osbourne, and his mostly satanic lyrics are especially amusing on the cryptic-sounding opener "Invisible Hate," which eventually resorts to shouts of "more beer." Despite similarly silly lyrics, the song that bears the band's name is definitely the album's highlight, thanks to its engagingly ferocious main riff.

blue highlight denotes track pick