If the name Psychedelic Witchcraft conjures up images of a female-fronted occult-rock act that worships at the Coven of Jex Thoth and Blood Ceremony, then you’re pretty much right on the money. Rather than drawing inspiration from classic Italian cult horror films, like, say, their countrymen in Arcana 13, this Florence-based outfit has chosen not to beat around the bush with its band name.
Their debut album (they previously released a 10” EP called… wait for it… Black Magic Man) seems to follow the well-worn lyrical themes of witches, demons and magic (oh my!) that you’d expect from this not-quite-mainstream subgenre. But first, we start off with “A Creature,” a sleepy, uninspired Witchcraft (or Graveyard, take your pick) outtake as sung by that chick from Blues Pills. Actually, scratch that—Elin Larsson can sing circles around this band’s frontwoman. “Witches Arise” is a slightly more up-tempo number that oozes Jex Thoth, minus the organ, while “Demon Liar” has a pretty decent bluesy riff off the bat before falling into another pile of mid-paced shock-rock schlock.
They even seem to run out of lyrical inspiration at the end, as the faster Sabbathian stomp of “War”—probably the best song on here—gives way to the same ol’ retro blues rock of “Different.” This record is almost so predictable I could’ve written most this review without even listening to it. Enough with occult rock by numbers, already!