Cruelty and the Beat

 

Trampled, Scratched, Covered in cobwebs but still it spins…
Witchery
Dead, Hot and Ready
Necropolis Recordings 1999
Track listing;
Demonication
A Paler Shade of Death
The Guillotine
Ressurection
Full Moon
The Devil and the Damage Done
Dead Hot and Ready
The Devils Triangle
Call of the Coven
On a Black Horse thru Hell
It’s been a while since I visited this little gem. On my CD spinner it has sat gathering dust until recently when it’s ‘tongue in cheek’ cover grabbed my attention. (A skeletal mortician, perhaps on a coffee break, lifting the veil upon a recently deceased female corpse with what I would gather not such wholesome intentions in mind).My pale hand plucked it from its dusty home, and off to the car I skipped, with a glint in my eye.
The opening track “Demonication” goes straight for the throat with absolutely no apologies. Toxine’s vocals are raspy and…you can actually make out (most of) what he is singing, a nice change from the more traditional grunts, barks and growls prevalent in the darker genres of metal that I enjoy.
Galloping and thrashing along at a mid pace, the instruments are mixed well (not muddy) and the riffs and melodies give my extremities the uncontrollable urge to twitch, I can’t for the life of me stop my head from nodding, just try sitting still to this album, but I digress.
At times during the album I’m reminded of Three Inches of Blood. Is it just me or does “Resurrection” seem like it could fit in comfortably on “Fire up the Blades” with only the slightest of change in the lyrical department. At other times I hear a little Annihilator riffage during “The Devil and the Damage Done”. A smidgen of an Iron Maiden influenced melody here and there, and certainly some more traditional heavy metal influence. That is more than obvious in most of the album.
Some of the solos remind me of earlier Slayer (not at all a bad thing!)
A prime example occurs mid way though “The Guillotine”. I even detect the uniqueness of Morbid Angel, most notably for me in track eight, “The Devil’s Triangle”. The title track has a distinct Vader-ish speed and melody with a faster cadence to the vocal screams in the accompaniment, channeling shades of Cradle of Filth. Certainly a stand out track!
There’s more than a couple of tracks that stand out, though in my honest opinion only a few that somewhat would slow a true metalhead’s moshing urges.
A quick peek at the lyric sheet does not disappoint, with no mention of unicorns, daisies or rainbows here, but plenty of nods to beasts of the night, unnatural urges and dark lust to delight even the most jaded of metalheads.
On the downside, this album is disappointingly short, but then again there’s something to said of things in small packages, just watch Time Bandits and tries not to fall in love with the adorable lil buggas, but again I find myself on a tangent.
Recently I plucked, what I presumed to be, the band’s latest effort from my local retailer, “Witchkrieg”.  Sadly, it was a little of a letdown. Some nice melodies and impressive musicianship but something is a little amiss. I would hate to blame anything or anyone, but Toxine is missing and replaced by a new lead vocalist, Legion, and there’s certainly not quite the same spark and flair that’s shown in “Dead Hot and Ready” which again, I whole heartedly recommend.
The total package is fantastic with enough tempo and mood changes to keep one interested enough to spin again and again. I’ve spent days with the “A Paler Shade of Death” spoken intro and wicked guitar break bouncing throughout my tiny noggin…”The night is young…Another human screams…” Frankly I’m surprised my neighbors aren’t hammering at my door pleading for release from its dark brilliance, and I’m still in awe that my CD player hasn’t spat it out yet!
Pick it up, steal it, do whatever but certainly give it a whirl and be prepared for a neck workout.
Cult
Signing off

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