Bewitcher

Bastard – Rotten Blood Review

Bastard – Rotten Blood Review

“What we have here is the devil’s own bar band. After a seven-year layoff and a slew of lineup changes, Bastard swaggers back onstage with sophomore full-length Rotten Blood. These four likely parolees mine a vein of blackened speed metal and thrash that will be familiar to fans of NifelheimGoatwhore, or, more recently, any of your finer bands ending in the suffix “-er” (Bütcher, Bewitcher, Hellripper, Demiser, etc.). The album is all Motörhead riffs played at 78 rpm and mad-lib lyrics that pay homage to Satan or whatever–mostly, it seems, because cozying up to Old Man Splitfoot is the fastest way to get your hands on the good whiskey.” Bastards, bourbon, Battlestar Galactica.

Knife – Knife Review

Knife – Knife Review

“Over the past few years, I’ve found myself growing increasingly fond of the blackened speed metal subgenre. Something about the mix of simple, unrelenting riffs, vicious vocals and gleefully evil subject matter speak to my soul in a profound and fundamental way. But instead of exploring any of that in therapy, I just keep an eye out for the next morsel of Motörhead-worshipping, Venom-venerating filth that bobs to the surface of the promo sump. That’s exactly how I happened upon Knife, a blackened speed outfit hailing from Germany that traffic in this (un)heavenly concoction.” Blades of steel.

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

“Like most blackened speed metal bands, Hellsword channels classic acts like Venom and early Bathory to form the base of their sound, but they also take a few steps into thrash territory, occasionally sounding a bit like debut-era Slayer. Hellsword are just now delivering their debut full-length despite forming way back in 2009, and this extended time together shows in their songwriting maturity.” Blades and Beelzebub.

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

“Is it just me, or is Redefining Darkness Records on somewhat of a tear lately? We’ve covered thirteen of the label’s releases since late 2018, and all thirteen have received a score of 3.0 or better. I’ve handled three of those reviews in 2021, and I’ve found them to be good, very good, and fucking awesome. So when the promo for Redefining Darkness act Black Mass came along with its epically sinuous artwork, I threw my head back, cursed the sky, and feasted upon its forbidden fruit.” Rise of the Tree Eaters.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

“I’ve given out a 4.0 or twenty-one in my time, but this is the first time that one of 4.0ldeneye‘s highly 4.0nored 4.0nies returns 4.0me for yet another s4.0t at glory. Just under two years ago, Portland, Oregon’s Bewitcher released Under the Witching Cross, their sinister sophomore platter of blackened speed metal tunes, and I still haven’t been able to locate my socks after the resulting off-blowing. That record was oozing with attitude, and every track was a killer. I was stoked to hear that the band had been picked up by Century Media for follow-up effort Cursed Be Thy Kingdom.” Cursed by great expectations.

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

“It was just over one year ago that I wrote about mysterious Swedish duo Reaper and their debut record Unholy Nordic Noise. A viciously irreverent mixture of first-wave black metal, speed metal, and crusty HM-2-laden punk, the record saw the band going boldly where many bands had gone before and successfully delivering a short and sweet platter of simple, yet satisfying blasphemy. The disgustingly croaked vocals combined with the musical style to give me the impression of Abbath taking a bath with Bathory‘s Bathory, and the resulting sound was as cathartic as it was entertaining. Well, these guys seem to believe that more is more, so they wasted no time in following the debut up with The Atonality of Flesh.” Tone up that flesh for summer.

Blackevil – Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire Review

Blackevil – Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire Review

“Something wicked this way comes. What is that thing? It’s Germany’s Blackevil — and their sophomore record Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire follows with them. These maniacal monsters play a potent mixture of blackened thrash, speed metal, and pure heavy metal — the kind that Iron Maiden would have played if they’d been nearly as satanic and evil as the PMRC thought they were back in the 80s.” Z-evil never dies.