Witchcraft - Legend

I came by this album a little late, but enjoyed it so much I felt it deserved a review. Witchcraft are a Swedish band that play a retro rock/doom style that, to my ears, is heavily influenced by the masterful Blue Oyster Cult and the obvious but legendary Black Sabbath among others. Legend is Witchcraft's fourth release and finds the band at their peak. These 10 songs are loaded with excellent riffs, not showy, but exactly what the song calls for, and played with precision. Founder and vocalist Magnus Pelander's voice sits on top of these riffs and delivers melodies that will stick in the listener's head for days. All of this mixes with a thundering rhythm section to showcase a band locked in and in top form, with Jens Bogren's production allowing each instrument to breath, and lending the album a polish that does not diminish its 70s vibe. The band does an expert job of interspersing up tempo arena rock style moments with melancholy passages, giving the album texture and an easy flow. This is the kind of music that sounds best when cranked up in an old Camaro whilst one is cruising through a small town's back roads or down a city's main drag. Though it takes its cues from the best parts of the 70s scene, it does so with a modern approach, paying proper homage to its influences without sounding derivative or generic. Legend is a monster release, one the band should be proud to have birthed, and has set the bar high for future releases.

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