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RITUALS OF THE... - review
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MORBID MESSIAH - review
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WITCHING HOUR
WITCHING HOUR
Past Midnight...
(Evil Spell Records / Undercover Records)
34:44min

Classic Heavy Metal infected Black / Thrash is what German act WITCHING HOUR deliver on their 2nd full-length attack “Past Midnight...”. Of course, the roots are easily identifiable as early SODOM, VIOLENT FORCE, VENOM etc. but especially in terms of guitar melodies and leads a punkish NWOBHM or generally obscure Heavy Metal influence can not be denied and helps “Past Midnight...” to clearly stick out from the rest of the pack. All songs offer tons of fist-pumping, raise-the-horns and bang-your-head hooks and riffs, driving arrangements and raw, throaty vocals perfectly fitting ideal to this vicious, highly entertaining piece of Metal. And please don’t sneer at the word “entertaining”! It’s actually a compliment as the WITCHING HOUR guys manage to compose with a sort of determined dilettantism where the punch line is always theirs: usually, goofy, technically far from well done solos and melodies in such tracks like 'Barbed Wire Lust' (mega-hit!!!) or 'Black Countess' would cause you to feel somewhat ashamed for the guitarist but in this case they make the songs just f**king awesome and the melodies stick to your head like a fly to proper pile of poo! The bottom line is plain, unsophisticated fun that never gets embarrassing! Combined with a powerful production that retains a morbid feeling throughout the record, “Past Midnight...” is best consumed while having a box of beers or riding the motorway to the next Hell’s Pleasure festival (please don’t drink the box of beers while driving). It kicks major butt, contains several real smashers (e.g. the aforementioned tracks or the hard rocking 'Hail The Cult') and actually you must be living a pretty horrible, humouless life if you can not find any pleasure in this. Dear “Past Midnight...”, you will be a much-played new friend in my collection as a killer record you truly are! For all further info check out one of these websites: www.witching-hour.de.gg, www.myspace.com/witchinghourthrashwww.undercover-records.de

Stefan Franke

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