HEXENBRETT - Erste Beschworung
Released January 1/19 (Bandcamp)
Absolutely love the opening track of this debut EP from Germany's Hexenbrett (translates to witches' board). We are welcomed with spooky organ and creepy vocalization before a NWOBHM-style riff sets in (think Diamond Head), complete with intermittent haunting backing keys. Gruff vocals are then introduced, spewed out in their native German tongue, roughing up what might have become something a bit too polished. A guitar solo mid-section then leads to a race to the finish in fine debut Iron Maiden style.
'Toter Schrei' follows in a similar manner, perhaps a little too laidback for my tastes, but still a fun take on blackened trad metal. 'Farben der Nacht' is up next, some airy keys offset by intermittent black thrashing sections, again placing this release where the general metal fan, as well as extremists, could appreciate its charms. 'Sie Fliegan' closes out the 19-minute release with its best vocal performance, spitted out with malevolent spite. A mighty tasty intro to the band, for sure.