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HELLWITCH
HELLWITCH
Omnipotent Convocation
(Xtreem Music)
40:00min

Formed back in 1984, it is hard to imagine that the band up to this day has only released two full length albums. The first time I came in contact with the band was through a compilation and their song 'Torture Chamber' which is not that hard to forget due to their weird composition and the catchy chorus if that witching voice singing "Torture chambeaahhh". Those were the days. Then Richard C, from Wild Rags sends me a tape promo for the first album of the band, the underrated "Sizygial Miscreancy" . That was way back in the early 90s, and it was only their debut album. That one was a twisted, bordering on technical, style of Deathrash Metal played at high speed and with more hysterical and high pitched vocals, that the band leader / founder Pat Ranieri was the one guilty of. Then the band entered in a slumber state where many labels announced the follow up, but it all went through line-up changes, music trends and generally bad luck. Until now. Their style is in fact quite intact, it is still Deathrash, played at high speed, with many crazy breaks here and there and a magnificent performance as it has been the sign of these Floridian mongers of pain. If the cover art of their debut with that space-evil-alien thing was weird, well this new one is not short. A yellowish-orange vortex, that looks like been seen through something like a shattered glass... oh, my. A quite good point here is an excellent cover of their land-mates DEATH with 'Infernal Death', which is very well performed, but also showcases a truth with the band. They sometimes go too far in approaching a technical edge to their music. Sometimes, ATHEIST comes to mind here and there, whereas before that comparison would be out of place. I also can hear riffs similar to those of NECROPHAGIST which makes me more confused, as the logical thing would be the other way. But this is the realm of the HELLWITCH and logic just does not make sense. In the end, I was left with a strange sense; they are obviously faithful to their style, but it seems that it has not aged exactly that good through the years. I now compare them to SADUS in the fact that they still got that fire burning inside, but it is not flaming with enough strength to create a wildfire that was expected after all these years. If they choose to go for more straightforward songs, they had definitely the potential to create a masterpiece. As it is, it is way above average, but still, there are many other newer bands that create things in a similar way but yet more exciting. Maybe now with less time between recordings they can recover that flame, that they are undoubtedly carrying on. www.hellwitch.com, www.xtreemmusic.com

Julián Núńez

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