In the world of black/thrash, there are few bands that can compete with Witchtrap. Though this trio of Colombian maniacs takes their time with each full-length, the end result is always magnificent. 2015’s “Trap The Witch” marks their shortest break between records, but that didn’t impact the quality of the album. This record consists of 8 songs filled with tight, bestial riffing. There hasn’t been any significant change in Witchtrap’s sound on this album. They still deliver high-speed riffs that are NWOBHM inspired. Early Destruction and “Show No Mercy”-era Slayer come to mind as the best comparisons, but Witchtrap dials up the tempo even more than those bands did. They have a fairly comfortable pocket of riffs that they draw from as they rarely experiment with unique sounds, but Witchtrap never fails to impress.
The band’s songwriting on “Trap The Witch” is as potent as ever. Even if it sucked, you’d have to appreciate a song named after the Motorhead’s frontman. Of course, this brilliant track was written before his passing, but Witchtrap captured his essence in their own style, as “Lemmy” is a wild, thrashing affair. It is a bold move naming a song after one of metal’s idols, but Witchtrap pulled it off. Another highlight is “Disciple of Death”, which shows the band worshipping “Show No Mercy” more than ever. A lot of the riffs tend to be straight alternate picking until the end when the band throws in a little flare to the riff. This style is simplistic, but surprisingly effective. As good as both of the aforementioned songs are, they pale in comparison to “Hard Thrashing Mania”, which is easily the highlight of the record, and possibly of Witchtrap’s career. It shows the band slowing down slightly (at least compared to the whiplash-inducing tempos found earlier on the record), but it is ever so catchy. The chorus sees Burning Axe Ripper belting out “tonight, metal strikes gold”, and truer words have never been spoken, as this song is pure gold. The main riff has a Judas Priest feel to it, which is why it stands out amongst the more evil riffing that dominates the rest of this release.
If there is one fault on “Trap The Witch”, it would be “Power Of The Maul”. This track gets off to a brooding start, as Witchtrap unleashes some slower notes that ring out, creating a haunting atmosphere. This is not new to the band ("Gypsy Ritual/Face The Evil" and “A Forgotten Cemetery” also did this), but the track never builds anywhere. The verses feel too tame, as the drums don’t fully enter the picture until the choruses. At five and a half minutes, this is the longest song on the album, and it definitely feels that way. There are some good riffs, and speed isn’t a requirement for a song to be enjoyable, but this track feels as though it’s a failed experiment.
Ignoring that slight flaw, “Trap The Witch” is a near-perfect record. Everything that made Witchtrap great on their first three records is still present here, including the stellar production: crunchy guitars, and a clear sound without being clean. Somehow the band has managed to write riffs that are more classic than ever, and all three members deliver excellent performances from start to finish. This album feels faster than the first 3 as a whole, which naturally works in the band’s favour. Ultimately, “Trap The Witch” is a worthy release both for long-time fans and newcomers to the band.
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"Hard Thrashing Mania"
"Trap The Witch"
4.75/5 or 95%.
Written by Scott