This CD sounds like sitting in the back of a 1976 Dodge van, surrounded by blacklight posters, clouds of incense smoke, and stacks of 8-tracks. Musically, it's like some time-warped orgy of Cream, Black Sabbath, and Electric Light Orchestra; lyrically, it's all dragons, wizards, and cryptic cheesiness oozing over macabre metaphors. So, yeah, score one for the noir nostalgia, but don't overlook the bright side: These Swedes know retro doom metal well enough to actually add something to the sound. To wit, the song "Remembered," which follows the '70s flange guitar-and-flute formula closely enough, but manages to meander into a funky drum breakdown and swooning saxophone solo, to stunning effect. There are plenty of obvious nods to the rock gods of yore there's more cowbell here than in all the milk farms of India, and the sparkly guitar harmonies in the middle of "Samaritan Burden" echo Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." But 12-minute-plus epic songs like "The Alchemist Pt. 1/2/3" and raw rockers like "If Crimson Was Your Color" (complete with funky bass line) show that Witchcraft's got some serious mojo of its own.
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