I am heading home and stop by the post office, usual shyte of course, bills, bills and more fucking bills, but lo and behold! What is this? A packaged stamped with Her Majesty's Royal Mail Service...oh yeah, I know what this is and I know I've gotta get home ASAP.
Once there I ripped open the envelope and out falls the new CD from Arkham Witch, "Legions Of The Deep"....I look at it the way it should be; as an object made of precious metal!
The record cover art by Jowita Kaminska is insane! I flip the case over and there is an awesome portrait of the band standing in-between moss covered, ancient stones which seemed to have been quarried ages ago; I can't exactly tell where these boulders are located, but they give the impression of a mystical place, the kind you stumble across all throughout the British Isles...I can faintly make out a pentagram on one of the stones.
Also on the back is a warning label, not for lyrical content but one which tells the reader exactly what's waiting for them inside..."Vintage Metal Sound. Contains Non-triggered drums"...ah yeah, this is going to be a fun one!
Oh geezus...if you haven't heard of Arkham Witch yet, then you're missing out big time! Their debut "On Crom's Mountain" was a total mind fuck of epic proportions and here they are again with "Legions Of The Deep" channeling the ghosts of R.E. Howard,Sabbath, Manilla Road, H.P. Lovecraft, Cirith Ungol and even the mighty B.O.C. with a dash of ol' Maiden and Bay Area Thrash!
This is music for the barbarian conqueror in all of us; with songs telling tales of terror, sorcery and taking pride in one's working class roots, you get a full helping of heavy riff laden metal up your ass!
The opening track "David Lund" just grabs you by the nuts and doesn't let go for a whole eight minutes plus! This is the type of music which harkens back to the very roots of Heavy Metal, amazing in every sense of the word with grinding guitar and drum led tempos fronted by heroic vocals and choruses which, at times, make you think if Pentagram and Rainbow had a love child, the resulting unholy fetus would be Arkham Witch...and that's just the first track!
Arkham Witch really makes you feel the music, not just hear it...sick leads which can change into a thrashy speed tour de force on a moment's notice is one of Arkham Witch's calling cards, the choruses on this are tailored made to become metal anthem classics! .. .."Fuck you, we're from Keighley"...fuck yes!
Each one of these tracks are simply some of the best oldschool metal with a modern edge that you can sink your teeth into nowadays; I mean, just one track "Iron Shadows In The Moon" highlights everything good about these guys; Demaine sets the stage with a bass riff which would garner a nod of recognition from Steve Harris himself, Emily hits that kit as if it was a red headed stepchild, Simon's pipes give you the impression that this guy had been hanging around the old stomping grounds of the NWOBHM greats since he could crawl, and Aldo unleashes with some superb riffs which are almost impossible not to play air guitar to!
They also throw down with some sick aggression as well with tracks like "Infernal Machine" and "On A Horse Called Vengeance" (there's more than a hint of thrash here to be found on this one folks!) and "Legions of The Deep" which highlights the power of Leo Stivala from Forsaken as he takes on his guest vocal duties.
Viking pirates of doom indeed! Arkham Witch is a rare breed, there aren't many bands that can throw the bullshit aside and get back down to the basics with as much success as these guys. From the lyrical content to the crunch and beats...Arkham Witch is all about rocking hard.
Arkham Witch is just a band you gotta hear...a simple review just doesn't do them justice...let's put it this way, their albums are the type you play in order to liberate yourself from the bullshit around you...the second you turn the dial to ten and the first notes spew forth from the woofers, life becomes all about the music and nothing else!
Oh, also there is something special to note too, both Emily and Simon were in a band called Lamp of Thoth and one of the tunes they put out was called, "Blood On Satan's Claw", this album includes an acoustic version...just a little added bonus there for ya! Enjoy!