By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
Straight outta Sweden comes Witchcraft, which despite its black-metal name rocks it fairly old school and classic. The sound these four Scandinavian longhairs have been making for the past seven years combines Blue Cheer/Iron Butterfly psychedelic stomp; early (pre-synth) Rush proggery; the mystic, sun-baked riffage of Kyuss and Masters of Reality; and Spinal Tap during their "Stonehenge" period, albeit a tad more sincere. Witchcraft's latest, The Alchemist, can definitely cast some wicked spells on you. And the myriad connections between these guys and some of rock 'n' roll's most famous sorcerers are damn near magical. Check it out!
• Onstage, wore white bell-bottoms emblazoned with red dragons (symbolizing Satan).
• Is an ardent admirer of British occultist Aleister Crowley and, for years, even lived in Crowley's former house in Scotland.
• Onstage, during "If Crimson Was Your Colour," frontman Magnus Pelander sings, "Within the darkest hour/When the dragon releases its power/They feel the urge to meet/To share and to intertwine."
• Is an ardent admire of long-running American metal band Pentagram (named after a Satanic symbol), and has been to singer Bobby Liebling's house in Virginia.
• Was in the band Samhain, named after an ancient pagan holiday during which the dead are said to communicate with the living.
• Founded the adult-oriented publishing company Verotik so he could put out comic books depicting naked female demons and vampires.
• Pelander was previously in the band Norrsken, named after the Swedish term for the northern lights, which, according to some European folklore, are said to represent the souls of dead warriors returning to plague the living.
• Almost certainly have female groupies styled like demons and vampires waiting to get naked for them after shows, especially in Amsterdam.
• Was discovered and signed by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who put out an album titled The Downward Spiral.
• Was recently barred from entering the famed Gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, which houses the relics of 13th-century theologian St. Albertus Magnus.
• In "Hey Doctor," Pelander sings, "A downward spiral/For your heresy inclined."
• Was discovered and signed by Lee Dorrian, of the famed doom-metal band Cathedral; Magnus still has the e-mail Dorrian sent, offering him a record deal, as a relic of the occasion.