Thursday 14 December 2023



Put those pets in another room, remove any expensive nick-nacks you might have scattered around your place of listening and make yourself ready for a full on assault on your senses because Italy's Witchsnake are back with another album, this one even more gnarlier and uncompromising than their filth laden self-titled debut. Those thinking how could that be possible and pointing out that we called "Witchsnake" "a soundtrack for depravity and perversity that sounds like it could have been recorded in the fiery bowels of Hell with the Devil himself sitting at the mixing desk.” are in for a shock when "Deathcult of the Snake" (Regain Records) hits their ear canals as this one makes the bands debut sound like a collection of children's nursery rhymes in comparison.

 You will notice a couple of none too subtle changes when listening to "Deathcult of the Snake", the first is in its vocals, those deeply buried, heavily filtered vocals that graced the bands debut are gone and have this time around been replaced by gruffer growlier tones that posses a wrecked by cigarettes and whiskey dynamic not too dissimilar in delivery to those of Motorhead's late speed king Lemmy Kilmister. The second change is related to the first in that whereas the bands debut took much of its influences from Electric Wizard and similar bands this one has its roots so far implanted in Motorhead territory you almost expect a cry of "we are Witchsnake and we play rock'n'roll" to come hurtling out of the speakers. Have no fear though, Witchsnake are not trying to do some sort of copy and paste job or trying to fill that vast hole Motorhead left behind them as this duo plaster their own unique personalities all over the seven songs contained on "Deathcult of the Snake" with tunes like "Outlaw", "Inject The Venom", "Black Star" and "Laughing Among The Ruins" all possessing Witchsnake's trademark scuzzy riffs, Hendrixian solos and thunderous percussion, its not a pretty sound by any means but boy is it a great one!

"Deathcult of the Snake" does not mark a radical shift in direction from Witchsnake but it does mark a shift nonetheless, the change in vocal delivery and the leaning towards a more heavy metallic sound not only suits them it also gives them their own identity and sets them apart from all those other Italian acid-doom bands currently ploughing a furrow through the swampy fields of the underground's rock and metal scene. File this under G for gnarly as fuck!
Check 'em out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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