Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Witchtrap - Vengeance Is My Name


One thing you'll never be without in extreme music is blackened death and thrash metal. That mix of Bathory-forged hatred and Slayer-like pace, which has been sewn together over the last twenty years to produce a hellish sound. One of the genre's biggest proponents of this sound is Hell's Headbangers. This label has an uncanny knack of unearthing bands from across the globe, especially South America, where it takes on a new level of evil. Witchtrap are one such South American export. Witchtrap begun in 1992 as Dark Millennium. In 1993 they changed their name to what it is now and also changed their style from death to thrash metal. After two full-lengths and a number of EP,s and reissues, Vengeance Is My Name emerged in 2012. Witchtrap take you back to the days of day-glo thrash and bullet belts, reminding you that thrash used to be raw and dangerous.

Tracklist:-

1. Intro
2. Winds of War
3. Damned To The Core
4. Put To Death
5. The Queen of Hell
6. Venomous Breath
7. Metal
8. Vengeance Is My Name
9. Pay In Blood
10. I'll Take Your Head

Witchtrap kick things off with a gentile intro of great melodic guitar, plucked thoughtfully to draw the listener in before they launch into their full on thrash attack. That thrash-attack comes in form of first song proper, Winds of War. What you get here is rip-roaring drums, guitars that sound like they're gonna explode and vocals that could give Mille Petrozza of Kreator a run for his money! It's undeniably South American in its delivery, full of raw attitude and killer solos.  Damned To The Core slows the pace of proceeding slightly, with a measured instrumental build up but it's not long before the whirlwind begins again in earnest. You can't help but bang your head as the main verse begins, thanks to the furious leaping drums. The melodies in the riffs add variation, stopping the song from sounding stale.

One thing you can always guarantee with thrash metal is that it won't hang around. Bands that don't care for noodling or beard-stroking artsy crap and Witchtrap are no exception.  Their songs are all around the four-five minute mark and they all follow a well-trodden formula that works. Put To Death doesn't lean to heavily on the vocals this time, relying on the rapid instrumentation to do it's talking, with a sound that seems to thicken as it progresses. If had to draw comparisons between their sound and that of the genres better known acts, I'd have to say it's closer to that of Kreator than any of the big four. That should come as a relief to some, as it shows that Witchtrap's music isn't as watered-down or clinical, but instead heavier and more natural. None more so is this difference in sound obvious than during The Queen of Hell.

Witchtrap get more preposterous as they pile-drive through Vengeance Is My Name. The solo during Venomous Breath is probably the best solo on the whole record. The odd falsetto vocal raises the temperature as well. One of their most powerful songs is the song titled only as Metal. It pretty much sums up where Witchtrap are coming from. They even step up the grandiosity with the title track, by throwing some great sweep picking into the intro. It's hell of a track! Listening to both Pay In Blood and closing track I'll Take Your Head makes me sad that I don't have long hair, as I can't mosh with my hair in a circle. The thought was there though!

If you're a fan of old-school thrash, this is another album you should be checking out. It's got energy and more importantly, balls!

Vengeance Is My Name is streaming in full via the Hells Headbangers bandcamp page:-


You can purchase a digital download copy directly from the above link for $6.66 or buy physical copies from Hells Headbangers at http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/releases.asp.

Witchtrap Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/WITCHTRAP/.

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