By Ola Mazzuca
“Take your hands off me, I cannot let it go. Let this mantra speak, emotions overflow.” Poetic, mystical lyrics by Swedish doom metal band Witchcraft construct a listening environment so vast, yet so enclosed. It’s the driving force of their latest solid release, Legend, that’s an aesthetic work of minor chords beautifully paired with broad vocals by Magnus Pelander. The ear catching verse from “Dead End,” spanning an open twelve minutes, is a mere glimpse of the colours on Witchcraft’s canvas.
Their album art is graphically gripping; an image of a bird, comprised of a grid with sharp lines and shapes, unconventional for their sound, yet fitting for their approach. “Deconstruction” begins with moderate tempo; riffs dirty but played clean and overall vibe a la Pentagram. Pelander has a gorgeous voice, balancing soft, quivered words and powerful range over classic rock squeals of Simon Solomon and Tom Jondelius.
“Flag of Fate” stays true to doom elements for its heavy basslines, paced chorus and percussion thump. Varied string elements on “It’s Not Because of You,” the possible ode to sour relations, have Ska tendencies while “Ghosts House” is haunting before its climax. Each song builds with such precise progression that they move and intertwine in a flowing fashion. “Dystopia” is a melancholy track that highlights contributions by each Witchcraft member – an all-encompassing tune that showcases Pelander’s vocal styles, developing into angst on fist-pumping political number, “Democracy.”
“Thirteen is the number, thirteen is the way. At the gates of slumber, you’ll awaken by day. Space turning over now, you elevate your thoughts,” breaks up “By Your Definition”, the concluding track of Legend. But the record isn’t over, for the Swedes leave you to rewind, ponder and reflect on its content, strengthening Witchcraft’s status as revival artists of doom today.