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Witchery - In His Infernal Majesty's Service album review

Sweden’s blackened speed demons recalibrate their engines

Buoyed by the additions of new vocalist Angus Norder and tub-thumper Chris Barkensjö, and boasting guest appearances from members of Mercyful Fate, Lock Up and Misery Index, Witchery’s first album in six years is a suitably spellbinding affair.

One of the rawest albums the Swedes have ever released in their 20-year career, this rampaging record rarely pauses for breath during its 40-minute running time and it’s a relentless barrage of thrash-infused blackened metal. The Burning Of Salem heaves with shredding solos, meaty guitars, spoken word passages and fast tempos and it’s an absolute monster, as is the fiendishly catchy Nosferatu and the NWOBHM-informed Empty Tombs. Although…Service fails to keep up with the breakneck pace set early on and eventually runs out of steam towards the end – particularly on the throwaway In Warm Blood and the relatively plodding Feed The Gun – it’s still a wild ride and one you’ll want to relive again and again.