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WITCHFYRE - Grimorium Verum

Release date August 8/18 (Fighter Records)

Here we have the debut full length from Spain's Witchfyre who embrace old school, traditional heavy metal with a dash of NWOBHM. The most obvious reference is to early Maiden, the rhythmic pattern shifts allowing the band to display their instrumental chops in the process. Additionally, there are sly riff references to Venom's Welcome To Hell debut in a couple spots ('No Rest For The Witched' and 'Night Hunter'), but they are incorporated in less extreme song formats. No need to scare the metal traditionalists.

Some would also point to Mercyful Fate as an influence due to the vocal acrobatics performed here by Emi Metal. The problem is that his vocals don't pass muster, coming across as excessive and tiring over the course of the 40-minutes of caterwauling. King Diamond he is not.

That said, Witchfyre have potential. They already have mastered a professional sound, have obvious skill and their love of heavy metal comes through loud and clear. Adding a little more originality into the proceedings and having Emi ratchet back on the vocal excess could make the next release very interesting indeed.

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