Saturday, 11 February 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Psychedelic Witchcraft - Magick Rites and Spells"

By: Jake Wallace

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/01/2017
Label: Soulseller Records




'Magick Rites and Spells' is a fresh, authentic display of classic occult rock being performed in the present day. It's a blessing to see a band who are truly absorbed in this genre, leading the way for all modern day occultists to follow. It's a very well-balanced mix of old, new and cover songs and an incredible follow-up to the masterpiece that was 'The Vision'. This band are only getting started and I'm truly excited to see what the future holds for Virginia and the guys.


“Magick Rites and Spells” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Come a little closer (Exclusive to this release)
2. Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult cover, Exclusive to this release)
3. Set me free (Re-recording, Exclusive to this release)
4. Wicked dream (Re-recording, Exclusive to this release)
5. The dark Lord (Originally performed by Sam Gopal, with Lemmy)
6. Angela (taken from the “Black Magic Man” EP)
7. Lying on iron (taken from the “Black Magic Man” EP)
8. Black magic man (taken from the “Black Magic Man” EP)
9. Slave of grief (taken from the “Black Magic Man” EP)

The Review:

Psychedelic Witchcraft have just brought out their latest album 'Magick Rites and Spells'. This band certainly know how to churn out songs as their last album, the critically acclaimed 'The Vision' only came out back in April, 2016. 

We dive into the mystical land of the occult with 9 tracks comprising of 3 brand new tracks, 2 covers and 4 tracks from the “Black Magic Man” EP, released back in 2015.

Track 1, 'Come a Little Closer', starts the album off with some elegant, flowing guitar sounds before the main riff begins and Virginia Monti takes control, doing what she does best. Such a powerful voice which can also be toned down for those hypnotic lyrics, entrancing you as the song goes on. There's some great lead guitar work in this track too, providing just enough of a taste without overcompensating. It's a very enticing opening track and a great start to a superb album. 

Track 2 is a cover of 'Godzilla' by Blue Oyster Cult. This is the first time I’ve heard a female sing this song and it sounds absolutely fantastic. I saw Blue Oyster Cult a few months back and they played this song but to be perfectly honest, Psychedelic Witchcraft do a better job than B.O.C did live. It's also very refreshing seeing a couple covers. A lot of bands have strayed away from covering songs in recent years but when you can add your own signature touch, like these guys have, then by all means, cover that shit! 

Track 3, 'Set Me Free', is a true piece of Sabbathian occult rock. Everything blends incredibly well and there's still a lot of breathing room with the guitar and bass tones so it's not total overkill. Virginia's vocals soar over the top of some very tight riffage before a great breakdown with just drums and bass involved. This leads way to another ripping solo from Jacopo Fallai as the track comes to a close. 

'Wicked Dream' is the 4th track on the album and the last of the brand new, original material that is exclusive to this release. These guys create such a dark, gloomy vibe to rock and roll but it works a treat and the visual imagery and lyrical themes all work as a cohesive unit.

'The Dark Lord' is another cover of the famous Sam Gopal song that featured Lemmy on lead vocals. It is in itself a fucking incredible song and it's so great to see recognition of it and Psychedelic Witchcraft do a superb job at doing it justice. As much as I love original material, I'd love to see these guys do a full cover album just to see what they would pick and see how Virginia can lend her voice to pretty much anything and do a fantastic job.

Track 6 'Angela' is the first track taken from the “Black Magic Man” EP from 2015. This time round it sounds much more polished and it's great to see their older stuff rearing its head again. Psychedelic Witchcraft defined their style early on and they still stay true to the Coven-esque style of occult rock. There are also more current influences such as Blood Ceremony or Ruby the Hatchet who play very similar styles of music but I think Psychedelic Witchcraft are the most authentic occult-styled band. 

Track 7 'Lying on Iron' is another track from the “Black Magic Man” EP. It is a beautiful, yet haunting piece of music and one of the more mellow tracks on the album. The musicianship in this band is of a very high standard and the fusion of guitar, bass and percussion is extremely affective in creating this sound. The guitar solo uses a Jimi Hendrix 'Little Wing' sounding tone and works fantastically with the backing music. There are a million ways to describe how good Virginia's vocals are and yet again, she delivers an impeccable performance. 

Track 8 'Black Magic Man' is the title track from the EP of the same name. This was one of the first Psychedelic Witchcraft songs I heard and got me into listening to them. It definitely sounds a lot fuller this time round and reminded me why I love this band. Parts of this song remind me of early 90s desert rock but tainted with a hint of darkness. 

The final track on the album 'Slave of Grief' is also re-released from their debut EP. It has a very simple chord progression which is perfect for letting Virginia grab your attention with her lyrics and vocals. It slowly chugs along and opens up around the 3 min mark with another ripping, fuzzed out guitar solo. Some of the tones on this album are very thick and fuzzy and some are clean and appropriate to the style of each song. This one is steeped in that classic vintage fuzz tone. The drums are absolutely on fire towards the end of this track and it all culminates in a witch's cauldron of musical brilliance as the track fades out. 

'Magick Rites and Spells' is a fresh, authentic display of classic occult rock being performed in the present day. It's a blessing to see a band who are truly absorbed in this genre, leading the way for all modern day occultists to follow. It's a very well-balanced mix of old, new and cover songs and an incredible follow-up to the masterpiece that was 'The Vision'. This band are only getting started and I'm truly excited to see what the future holds for Virginia and the guys. 

“Magick Rites and Spells” is available here
Band info: facebook || bandcamp

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