January 28th, 2016
Black Out Bill’s Band of the Week – Witchcraft
Witchcraft is a doom metal band from Sweden that was formed by frontman Magnus Pelander in 2000. These fellas are heavily inspired by 70’s stoner rock. They refuse to update even the most ostentatious traits of what that ill-boding metal era offered. Witchcraft is apocalyptic metal meshed with neo-psychedelia. These Swede’s doom metal assault is what you want to be listening to when yer blazing with your friends in your parent’s basement and pounding good cheap beers.
The ominous, tuned-down guitar metal sound and dark lyrics that Witchcraft exudes can easily be compared to Black Sabbath. While many of their broad-brush contemporaries are more conservative in their approach, Witchcraft is a band that can shift effortlessly from conventional doom metal to blues, and acid jazz while always remaining shrouded in their cloak of influence from some of the more arcane moments of the 70’s cult metal underground.
Not adhering to any sort of blueprint, Witchcraft have created a Renaissance Faire guise of compulsive, heavy riffing meshed with dramatic builds upon dramatic builds. At times their jams become discordant with bass and guitar reeling like velocitised speedfreaks all over each other’s musical perimeters, but always somehow finding synch. They’re sound has simply always been one of the top acts of the Doom scene.
Despite his youthful age, Magnus Pelander has been an active member of the Swedish Doom scene for quite some time. He initially started the band as a tribute to former 13th Floor Elevators legend Roky Erickson and vintage Doom rocker Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. In 2002 Witchcraft released a limited 7” called “No Angel or Demon” on the Swedish underground label Primitive Art. The sound of this single was Sabbath meets the Stones. When Rise Above Records heard this 7” they were so astonished by what they heard that they signed the band immediately and requested the song’s inclusion in its original form on their debut album.
Over the years Witchcraft has had some band member changes. Their most recent lineup stands as- Magnus Pelander-Lead Vocals, John Hoyles- Guitar, Ola Henriksson- Bass, and Jonas Arnesen- Drums. In 2004, after locking themselves in a basement studio with vintage 70’s equipment, their debut album “Witchcraft” was born. This debut album bleeds a seventies-esque sound that conjures up the macabre essence of vintage Black Sabbath and Pentagram while incorporating influences as wide apart as the “folksy” side of Jethro Tull. A year later they released their 2nd record “Firewood” and in 2007 their last record “The Alchemist.”
If you enjoy the doomy sounds of 70’s stoner metal then you’ll absolutely love this band.
Here’s a little doozy of theirs to scope- “Hey Doctor”