When we conjure up ideas of what metal should look and sound like in our minds, we usually envision the leather and screaming guitars, imagery that has classically been associated with metal. Doom metal has created the same imaginary requirements in our head also, with added touches such as down-tuned guitars and slow, melodic tempos. Witchcraft is a doom metal band out of Sweden that historically has created some great doom riffs that fit into the genre well. With their latest release Black Metal, Witchcraft has taken doom to a new level. .
What could be more doom than doom itself? How about acoustic riffs paired with dark lyrics? Black Metal uses a simple methodology to create something sinister and dark. The album features seven songs, all are just singer Magnus Pelander accompanied by an acoustic guitar. The atmosphere of the album comes across very dark and evil and yet very intimate.
The album at times can seem very beautiful and yet dark at the same time. Like the last moment of light when the sun is setting, and the splendor of the day is quickly disappearing giving way to utter darkness and black. The opening song “Elegantly Expressed Depression” is a good example of what the album has to offer:
“I swear I saw death standin’ in my hall
Casting her black shadow on my white wall
I reek of death from inside my soul
I’d never thought I’d lose you on a whim”
The music itself provides a late 60’s or 70’s dark folk feel throughout all the entirety of Black Magic. The composition of the songs combined with Pelander’s vocals and dark lyrics lend the imagination of what bands like Simon and Garfunkel or Jim Croce could have drifted into given the opportunity. A comparison of sorts could seem far off but the lyrical content of their music could be considered quite dark for its time.
Black Metal is not an album that should be listened to as a pick me up but as a journey into darkness. Lyrically the album goes there and goes there often. After taking the journey into the dark the light will follow.
Witchcraft Black Metal is available now via Nuclear Blast Records. Pick up a copy if you dare and take a journey into darkness.