After releasing two albums and an EP under the Witch Hazel moniker, the York, Pennsylvania quartet has rebranded as SpellBook. Their first album under this new moniker, Magic & Mischief (Cruz Del Sur Music), doesn’t deviate too far from their established Occult Rock style. There are a multitude of Seventies Rock grooves fitted with a slight Doom crunch that is quick to recall their contemporaries in groups like Lucifer, Demon Eye, and Icarus Witch.
As the band predicted when they released their excellent 2017 album For Those Who Fear Him (Century Media), the end of Vallenfyre was coming in 2018. Now they have announced their final show this September in the UK, and tickets are on sale at the link below. The band will play out their string of planned tour dates and festivals this summer as well. A new band is being planned from the ashes of this one, dubbed Strigoi. Strigoi features leader Greg Macintosh and live bassist Chris Casket. Continue reading
Nekrogoblikon aren’t doing this for critical acclaim, or good reviews, and as such, probably don’t give a Stench (sic – self released) what people think of their merits, or otherwise, instead doing this to have fun, stand out from a maddening crowd, and provide a platform for Goblin related buffoonery all to the backing track of some uptempo meloblack. If you’re looking for something progressive, epic, developed or overtly serious Heavy Meta (released on the band’s own Mystery Box label) probably isn’t for you. Swim in the shark-and-troll infested seas of Alestorm and Finntroll and you may have come to the right place, my fiends.
Crawling out of the underground cave where they undoubtedly concoct their foul brews, Scorpion, in his best Abbath croak, spits out “Babies, children, women and men, Get ready to implode on the count of ten. One… Two… TEN!” and we’re off into their stompy, earwormy world of melodic black metal and opener ‘The End of Infinity’. As the album progresses, keys dance and enhance over contagious songs, as the guitars chug and spray, hitting into Children of Bodom and more so (early) In Flames territory (for the choruses, Scorpion is reminiscent of Anders Friden) as accusations of a lack of technical proficiency that have blighted previous releases are well and truly laid to rest.
With both clawed feet firmly grasping onto the mid-90’s carnival world of the post-second wave – bands like Old Man’s Child, Borknagar, Arcturus and their ilk – this is catchy, theatrical and not a million miles from Dimmu Borgir’s more theatrical mid-paced moments, not afraid to open out into Gothic baroque tech metal territory (yep) on pairing ‘Snax & Violence’ and ‘Atlantis’, or just invoke a full on filthy party on the Andrew W.K. endorsed ‘Let’s Get Fucked’.
With elements of huumpa, Viking, classic, black, thrash and melodeath metal, Nekrogoblikon have a fair arsenal to bite, scratch and claw at your ankles and demand your attention. Ensuring each track is both memorable, likable and distinct from its predecessor, this is an enjoyable romp through a critter infested world that shows us just how these ‘gobli(ko)ns (black and) roll.