After the excellent debut release from local thrashers Sintoxicate, comes Witchseeker‘s debut EP, Night Rituals. The band’s main goal is to spread the word of old school heavy and thrash metal to the masses, and Night Rituals is the band’s effort to meet their goals. With numerous gigs already seeing the band increase their popularity among local metalheads, Night Rituals is certainly one of the more anticipated local releases for the year so far.
The band starts off easy with Shine Through the Night, with a nice melodic, almost punkish vibe, what with the riffing progression of guitarist Brandon, aided by the simple, but effective d-beat drumming of Sharizal. I have to admit, it took a bit getting used to Sheikh Spitfire’s vocals, and on Shine Through the Night his clean vocals almost gives the track a punk-poppish vibe, if not for the old school tone that the band has. Fortunately, on later tracks he chooses a gruffer vocal style, along with the seemingly increasing aggression as the album progresses.
The thing about Witchseeker is also how the band manages to display different styles of playing in such a short release. While opening track Shine Through the Night is a rather easy-listening track, the energy increases quickly on Killing Obsession, with the band easily reminding one of compatriots Xanadoo, with the crossover style exhibited by the band being rather reminiscent of bands such as Toxic Holocaust at the same time. Then there are the sappy ballad-ish tracks like Wishing You Were Mine, as well as the stereotypical songs like Metal Warrior.
Overall, Night Rituals is an extremely fun release to listen to, and joins the ranks of bands such as Xanadoo and Sintoxicate in producing addictive, infectious old school thrash. But if you don’t like what the band has put out, the closing track, a cover of The Subhumans‘ Fuck You sees the band sending their message clearly across to you: “we don’t care what you say – fuck you!”