WITCHES MARK - WITCHING METAL RITUAL (Heaven And Hell Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Witches Mark is a four piece Metal band out of Austin, USA. All is in readiness for their new, full length album to throw on the market by the title of “Witching Metal Ritual” that officially will see daylight on the 15th. July 2013 through Heaven And Hell Records. This very label also brought out the band’s debut EP “A Grim Apparition” back in late 2009. Totally unfamiliar I was with Witches Mark in the past and in anticipation of the full album, their new songs were already offered to discuss… it’s all about US Metal so I barely couldn’t wait to fulfil this duty.
Stand strong to swallow Witches Mark’s eight new songs, full Metal loaded and with a lot of diversity. Right from the start, ‘Bringers Of Heavy Metal Death’ open quite furious with angry, still clear vocals and strong guitars riffs/melodic leads, stamping double bass drums and a rumbling bassist. First shot, first kick in the head and I was longing for more like this. Next ‘Salem Fire’ sounds even better, faster and reminiscent to good old Abattoir and Bloodlust fame. Great headbanging rhythms and an overwhelming 80s Metal feel comes up. Mighty vocals well supported by the other musicians, superb guitars absorb my complete attention. ‘Swarm’ comes up in style with a full melodic riff that cuts real deep, and it’s awesome how beautiful this song has been further constructed. US Power Metal at its best in every way! Great variety on the vocal delivery, from deep to high pitched over more grunt alike… I remain behind, completely amazed.
The following track ‘Slaves’, same story to tell, ‘We Die’ is a dark one played by the forces of Doom Metal… what a great vocal delivery! US Power Metal maniacs be spoiled again with a song called ‘Cauldron Born’ – with accompanying, typical US Metal riffs/killer leads and a brilliant singer… Witches Mark keeps on surprising me. The titletrack appears with more speed and feels good, it seems no problem for the band to handle different types of Metal. There’s magic within their ranks… I mean they can do it all! All registers are opened for the last time with the song ‘Where Non Can Follow’, this is a perfect reproduction to which all the band is capable of. You will hear a beautiful musical engagement between all of the band members, all players with a very good vision of what Metal is all about. A great mixture of Heavy/Power/Speed/Doom with minor Black/Death Metal elements… check it out and be surprised yourself.
Witches Mark’s “Witching Metal Ritual” has been co-produced by themselves and Stuart ‘Batlord’ Laurence (Agony Column/Ignitor) / mixing and mastering were done by Brandon Bigelow (Ignitor/Death Of Millions). Nice cover art courtesy of Yannick Bouchard (Illusory Dreams). Also worth to mention is the fact that a few guests make their appearance as well. Here are the names: Ross The Boss (Manowar/Death Dealer), Jack Starr (Virgin Steele/Burning Starr), Jason McMaster (Ignitor/Watchtower/Broken Teeth) and Damien Thorne’s Martin Debourge.
"Witching Metal Ritual" will be released in Enhanced-CD format and will also include bonus video content including a music video for the album's title track... pre-order via THIS link. Extended promo video can be seen right HERE. Great album created by a very promising band delivering US Dark Power Metal to be proud on. Witches Mark Facebook / Heaven and Hell Records Must-have for those into US Power Metal like Rival, Deceased, Abattoir, Bloodlust, old Venom/Iced Earth/Meliah Rage. Let the ritual begin...
My Points: 93 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish