Lucifer’s house band is back with Cursed Be Thy Kingdom, their new album dropping April 16 via Century Media Records. Sonically it’s slightly different than what you’re used to hearing from Bewitcher in the past. Previous slabs of metal mayhem such as Bewitcher and Under The Witching Cross celebrated blackened speed metal and unabashed Venom worship, however, Cursed Be Thy Kingdom takes a detour of sorts into more traditional, classic metal territory. If you combine Bewitcher’s embrace of satanic imagery and dark visuals and juxtapose that against a backdrop of classic / traditional metal, that’s basically Cursed Be Thy Kingdom in a nutshell. The record isn’t bad, it’s good, just different.
Let’s take a closer look at what to expect on this record. “Satanic Magick Attack” and “Electric Phantoms” demonstrate a mature and measured approach Bewitcher has taken with their musical direction on Cursed Be Thy Kingdom. I won’t say the band, nor the songs seem restrained, but they do seem to lack the wild abandon that characterized much of their earlier catalog. In my opinion, Bewitcher are the best at churning out thrashy, hellfire, rock N roll. “Black Speed Delirium” from their self-titled record is a prime example. We’re missing that dimension on Cursed Be Thy Kingdom, although “Satanic Magick Attack” gets us closer.
“Mystifier (White Night City),” and “Cursed Be Thy Kingdom” move in a direction of New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) that trend toward the creative direction of bands such as Night Demon and Visigoth. Again, I have to emphasize that as far as metal records go, Cursed Be Thy Kingdom, all the songs are bangers, but I do question the choice of doing a whole disc of traditional metal. Bewitcher isn’t Night Demon or Visigoth, nor do I want them to be.
Bewitcher has been the flag bearer for blackened speed & Venom inspired thrash since their inception. Truthfully, there’s always been a traditional metal sound associated with the band, Cursed Be Thy Kingdom lacks the right amount of balance between both. Again, I want to emphasize that this is a good record, I just wanted more of the blackened speed component. If Bewitcher can find a way to close this gap, they might be the best on planet Earth.
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