posted on 11/2009 By:
Only with heavy metal is ugliness a complement. Poland’s Witchmaster revel in all things hideous and dirty, and in all things, well, metal. With this aim in mind, they spew forth nasty blackened thrash with heaps of influence from Celtic Frost, Slayer, early Sodom, and much more recently, Goatwhore. On album number four, Trücizna (Polish for poison, with an umlaut added for taste), their songcraft is nowhere near the refined marker, but their purely hideous fervor goes a long way, and is enough to make Trücizna a fun listen from time to time.
The title track kicks down the door with a very Frostian riff and an overall “roots” metal feel, which permeates all of Trücizna. Some songs lean far to the thrash side (“Self-Inflicted Divinity”), while others are more cross-genre (“Road to Treblinka”). “Bred In Captivity,” possibly the strongest track, celebrates this mix with thrash gallops, a bit of hyper-speed black metal, and bundles of Slayerisms, all efficiently placed in a package just over three minutes long. Throughout the brief album (under 30 minutes), a major constant is Witchmaster’s focus on just being nasty ugly, a trait enhanced by the blackened Greenway-meets-Cavalera vocal delivery of Bastis, and by the appropriately raw production. However, no amount of that aforementioned fervor should forgive the continuing trend of (snare) drums being too high in the mix.
You won’t get obsessed with Trücizna. It’s not likely to send you on a Witchmaster back catalog shopping spree, as they don’t exactly construct the most memorable of songs with their fecal palette. But it’s fuckin’ ugly and damn riffable, enough to be filed high under the forgettable-fun category. Yet more proof that personality goes a long way, and I’d put money on these boys slaying live.
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