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Cursed Be Thy Kingdom

   
       
       
       
     
             
Bewitcher are a heavy/speed metal band from the USA formed in 2013, releasing a number of demos before their self titled debut album emerged in 2016. 'Too Fast For The Flames' 7" E.P. was released early in 2019, followed a couple of months later by the bands second album 'Under The Witching Cross'.    
             
For the bands third album 'Cursed Be Thy Kingdom', Bewitcher are now fully ensconced in the aura of black metal, becoming a blackened speed metal band, with founding members Matt von Bewitcher and Andreas Magus, credited (on this album) as Unholy Weaver Of Shadows & Incantations, and Infernal Magus Of Nocturnal Alchemy. The snarling vocals are menacing and sinister, the blistering pace of the bands previous releases, now spliced with a few more mid tempo songs. If you think early eighties Venom, arguably the creators of the black metal style, you'll have some idea of what 'Cursed Be Thy Kingdom' sounds like.    
             
The new album contains ten songs, and rattles by in just thirty six minutes! All beginning with the one and a half minute, atmospheric and tension building intro 'Ashe', leading into album opener proper 'Death Returns...' - a blistering cacophony of speed metal to flex the neck muscles to the max. Fierce pace and menace combine perfectly to produce a head turner of a tune that will make listeners all over the world sit up and take notice. The more heavy metal sounding 'Satanic Magick Attack' launches forth with an almighty NWOBHM sounding riff, Bewitcher seamlessly blending different metal styles. The throaty rasp of a vocal performance just adds more menace to an already menace filled opening double salvo.    
             
Thundering into sight, 'Electric Phantoms' mirrors the early eighties speed of Venom and the origins of the black metal evolution. However, Bewitcher add more menace, and a much more sinister vibe, forcing many listeners to cower behind the sofa in fear. Not us brave hearts though, we're standing tall, raising our fists high, saluting a cracking song, and yelling "is that all you've got" - with the answer a defiant no! 'Mystifier (White Night City)' is more mid tempo than what has gone before, but retains the menacing vocals. Introducing hints of the classic sound of traditional heavy metal, 'Mystifier (White Night City)' is one of those genre blending songs. The title song 'Cursed Be Thy Kingdom' blazes by in under three minutes, swinging savage blows and heavy haymakers to make even the strongest flinch. If this really is the sound of blackened speed metal, then a new style is emerging - with Bewitcher the pioneers! And this is the moment right here, when some brainiac is likely to (try and) correct me...!    
             
Slowing the pace to a menacing mid tempo foot stomp, 'Valley Of The Ravens' maintains the albums overall heaviness, bludgeoning the listener with a savage array of riffs. The snarling vocals are pretty terrifying, "what a lovely day for an execution" is simply awesome, with a lot of emphasis placed on the word lovely! The fastest song on offer 'Metal Burner', comes crashing in like a wrecking ball in full swing - and with just as much brutal savagery too. 'Metal Burner' combines speed with pace, yet still manages a certain melodious streak. And those vocals too - full of snarling menace! Back to a mid tempo stomp, 'The Widow's Blade' lasts for a minute before streaking off at high velocity, echoing the bands early (career) urgency and purpose. Head bangingly addictive, 'The Widow's Blade' is a fierce tirade of ferocious thrash sprinkled blackened speed metal. The final song on the album, is a cover of legendary American doom metal band Pentagram's 'Sign Of The Wolf', taken from their 1985 self titled debut album. Bewitcher up the pace, up the intensity, up the...fuck, they up everything! The Bewitcher version is a barn storming romp, and if you didn't know it was a cover, you'd swear it was a Bewitcher original.    
             
Overall, a snarling, menacing, sinister ride of black metal infused speed metal to delight fans of the black, speed, and traditional, metal genres.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
Other Reviews    
             

           
           
Too Fast For The Flames 7" E.P.      
           
"a blistering double salvo of heavy hitting and explosive heavy metal guaranteed to viciously bang your head" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Under The Witching Cross      
           
"a fierce and furious rampage of savagery and brutality, Bewitcher deliver thirty minutes of breath taking speed, thrash and classic heavy metal" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             
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