Venue: The North Six (Brooklyn, NY)
Label: Candlelight Records
The rise of Doom Metal bands seems to be an occurrence that we are finding happen more often than not nowadays and given the amount of Power, Black, Death and Grindcore Metal that we have to enjoy this is a welcome level of musical change for the fans. Bands like Candlemass and Pentagram all have made some levels of significant mark on the genre and now it is Witchcraft’s turn. The band who hails from Sweden would be on their first-ever US tour and would find them hitting a number of intimate as well as smaller venues much to the appreciation of those who enjoy this underground Metal scene. Having only enjoyed the bands second recording “Firewood”, I was not too sure what to expect, but once the group hit the stage it was clear that they were good at their craft. It was odd to find that the band played two area shows, as this is not usually the case. Earlier in the week, they had played The Mercury Lounge, and this is a nice room, but really not much more than an oversized bar. I conferred with friends who went and enjoyed the level of intimacy the smaller size offered the audience, as literally they are right there with you. Tonight’s show would be at the North Six, a highly popular club in the Williamsburg part of Brooklyn. The area was once mainly factories and apartment buildings but over the past couple of years has found levels of change that now show dozens of restaurants, bars and music clubs. Working musicians of the City and visitors clearly love having this as an option.
As far as capacity goes, the North Six does not hold more than a couple of hundred people, so it allows a band that is too big for a place like Mercury Lounge but not big enough for Bowery Ballroom a place to lay it down. As you walked in to this show, it was great to find a crowded club. Its an experience not often the case when a band is first making a visit and also not as widely known to the Metal crowd that hits these shows on regular occasions. Witchcraft surely was a band that made an impression, as it seemed as though everyone around had been fans for a while and knew some history of the members. The membership roster for the group is John Hoyles (guitar), Jens Henriksson (drums), Ola Henriksson (bass) and Magnus Pelander (vocals and guitar). The group was originally founded by Pelander as the means to record some tribute material to the band Pentagram. For the ones who don’t know much about the group and would find this as much of a learning experience as I did, the best way to define their sound would be as that of a very close study to the masters of the original Doom sound – Black Sabbath. I am confident that if Sabbath was a band that formed today that they would be labeled as such. The riffs and heavy and sludgy and the groove so thick it solidifies the air around you. I was impressed to find them to be a tight live outfit and they made sure that the recording was only an idea as to how they sounded live. I remember my friend thinking the album was good, but in the live sense was as blown away by their delivery as I. It was fortuitous that the band did play many songs that I recalled from “Firewood” and they even did one number in their native Swedish. The crowd banter by Magnus was not much more than his showing appreciation for the support in this short tour and he did look generally pleased.
They would not play too long of a set and that was a shame but in truth, they are only working with two recordings. The response from the fans and the look on the bands faces to this might very well find them returning in the near future. I hope this will be the case as they offer a nice addition to the Metal mix that we find available.
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Official Web site: www.witchcrafthome.com