Symphony For the Devil
Never has there been a more over-the-top, overblown (in a good way) band in black/death metal than Witchery. Fucking face it, they put the “fun” in funeral. On every level. The dress for the part — hollow-eyed, long-haired leather ghouls lead by singer Toxine, who is garbed up like a freshly-exhumed Medieval confessor. They’ve got King Diamond sideman Sharlee D’Angelo on bass duties, which automatically guarantees a certain level of sinister bombast. They even had the good sense to put the Misfits/Phantom of the Opera Crimson Ghost creature in the cover’s graveyard scene. Like The Misfits, Witchery appreciates the curative properties of EC Comics-inspired gallows humor. And the Rolling Stones album title spoof is a gas!
But the music is where the true Tales From The Crypt, you’ll-smile-until-your-face-splits-and-eyeballs-fall-out-and-used-in-occult-rites comes into full glory. Symphony For the Devil is ridiculously wonderful — a vampiric hybrid of the best of power metal, thrash, black, death, and, naturally, glorious heavy metal. Toxine croaks and rasps along to the music in a voice best suited to Igor searching for brains in a Transylvanian graveyard. And it’s all delivered with the gusto of sugar-fixed twelve year-olds breaking in their first Bathory T-shirts. But they’re no joke band like Scatterbrain or turgid irony-laden exercise like Green Jellö. This is 100% streamlined metal collage.
The band is just so fucking good. In the course of listening to Symphony For the Devil, I picked up hints of Slayer, Motorhead, Venom, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Queensryche, Candlemass, Megadeth, Hellhammer, and many more compressed into impossibly effective headbanging masterpieces. Fucking god, man. People all talking about The Strokes constantly, jesus, they should be talking about Witchery. Classic gravestomp.