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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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RUNNING WILD - review
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SODOM - review
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VARIOUS ARTISTS - review
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SAMOT - review
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VENOM INC. - review
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LAVA INVOCATOR - review
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CULT OF ERINYES - review
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ARS MAGNA UMBRAE - review
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POISONOUS - review
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HELLCRAFT - review
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HELLWITCH
HELLWITCH
Syzygial Miscreancy
(Vic Records)
76:14min

What could be said about this album that hasn't been said yet? One of the best Thrash Metal albums ever is an understatement. Released by Wild Rags Records back in 1990, "Syzygial Miscreancy" is a twisted and outstanding collection of songs created and developed since their 1984 "Nosferatu" demo tape. Pat Ranieri has been the mastermind behind HELLWITCH since its inception and despite having only two full length albums so far (the other being 2009's "Omnipotent Convocation"), they have managed to stay active though all this time. In case you haven't heard "Syzygial Miscreancy" yet (shame on you), this album is a Thrash and Death Metal frenzy, combining solid and technical riffing, amazing drum work, pummeling bass lines and some of the most maniacal vocals out there. Imagine a combination of bands such as ATHEIST, GORGUTS and DARK ANGEL. Well, yeah... there you have it. Simply brilliant stuff! Produced by the band at Morrisound Studios, the sound is simply brutal. It's not a crystal clear production, nor it dwells into the dense and murky "signature" sound of other classic albums that were recorded there. And this definitely adds a lot to its odd atmosphere and schizophrenic pace. Now, this version I am reviewing comes from the fine Vic Records label from the Netherlands. These guys have been re-issuing a bunch of great albums from the 80s and 90s (check them out!) and "Syzygial Miscreancy" was a no brainer. As a huge bonus, they have added two different soundboard recorded shows from 2012 and 2013 and yes, they sound great! The band's performance is flawless and Pat's vocals sound better than ever! So, go ahead and get this! "Syzygial Miscreancy" was ahead of its time. It has never sounded dated or old. It is amazing music that transcends time and space! The band can be contacted here: www.facebook.com/pages/hellwitch/183892585570. And for ordering information check out the label website here: www.vicrecords.com

Alfonso Perez

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HELLWITCH
HELLWITCH
Syzygial Miscreancy
(Displeased Records)
72:39min

An unsung classic, to be sure, "Syzygial Miscreancy" was among the less well known fore-runners of the second generation of Morrisound produced Death Metal. If it had been released three years earlier, there's no reason to doubt HELLWITCH would have made a bigger name for themselves. Thankfully their well deserved recognition may yet come. This re-release collects the inaugural first album, and the demos which preceded it: "Nosferatu" (1984), "Transgressive Sentience" (1986), "Mordirivial Disemanation" as well as a 3 song rehearsal from 1989. Both the demos and the album are more Thrash inspired than anything else, with noticeable hints of early KREATOR and SADUS scatterd all over. Everything about this record bears a striking similarity to the through and through percussiveness of the extreme Thrash bands, particularly the two aforementioned bands: KREATOR and SADUS. These HELLWITCH songs, when they're not busy jack-hammering, stop for the briefest of instances to let off a tiny bit of momentum, only to begin again with renewed vigor. That is, more or less, how SADUS played on "Chemical Exposure", and how KREATOR played on "Pleasure To Kill". Such Thrash albums were, and remain, so savage that it would probably be better to think of them as early Death Metal albums. In the case of HELLWITCH, with its schizophrenic riff barrage, Death Metal seems the appropriate heading. The booklet of this re-release features liner notes by HELLWITCH's guitarist / vocalist Pat Ranieri, lyrics, old pictures and flyers as well as the HELLWITCH comic that was already featured in the original "Syzygial Miscreancy" album. www.myspace.com/hellwitch, www.displeasedrecords.com

Nathan Shapiro

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