Witch Blade is a new Swedish heavy metal band that is releasing their first full-length album in 2015 entitled “Oskuldernas Eld”. Don’t let the non-English song titles and lyrics deter you; this album is very worth your time. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with bands that don’t sing in English, but Witch Blade offers up enough smashing riffs and killer solos that this album will be stuck in your memory, even if you have no idea what’s going on vocally.
Stylistically, Witch Blade is a pretty standard traditional heavy metal bands. The guitars are the main focus on this album, and the riffs are not unlike those you would hear from any number of 1980s bands (Dio, Judas Priest, etc.). Of course, they also offer up plenty of Maiden-esque harmonies (see the intros to “Djävulens Svärd” and “Fjärrans Krig” for the best examples). There is no shortage of talent when it comes to the guitar playing on this record, but everyone in the band delivers a rock-solid performance. The drums will catch your attention from the beginning of the first track, largely because the bass drum is both poundingly heavy and loud. This sound is so intense that it actually feels like it’s popping out of the speakers. Witch Blade’s singer is more on the natural side of things. He doesn’t have a huge range, but he’s competent enough to suit the material. The vocal lines are well written, but personally, I can’t call them catchy as I can’t latch on to any of the words or syllables.
As you might imagine, “Oskuldernas Eld” is an album that has really hit the fundamentals of traditional heavy metal. It’s a loud, fun experience that is clearly the result of studying the works of bands from 30 years ago. While it doesn’t rank amongst my favourite bands of this style, it is clearly far more competent than many others. I can’t really fault a band for wanting to sing in their own language, but at the same time, the natural effect of that is that it will turn a lot of people away. If this isn’t an issue for you, then “Oskuldernas Eld” is sure to impress!
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All of it
3.7/5 or 74%.
Written by Scott