Bewitcher are a really cool band, their demo tapes dragged me into their filthy dirty speedier metal quite some time ago, this is their second full length having previously worked their socks off in the underground scene on the back of their three original demo recordings. Essentially, if you like Venom, Razor, Midnight, and Cruel Force. You know the drill, blackened evil satanic speed metal…till you bleed in the ‘Savage Lands of Satan’!

‘Hexenkrieg’ has wrath and a gnarly approach, immediately dragging you into the feel of the band, you certainly hear the Venom-isms here. ‘Under the Witching Cross’ is faster, heralding a mandatory head workout whilst the single ‘Too Fast for the Flames’ delivers and drags you into an overall affliction to the band. This is a great single to lead the release with, but trust me; the remainder of the album has so much to offer in addition. ‘Heathen Women’ lyrically spouts out “warrior, sorceress, solitary witch, armoured in fur, bones and leather”, the fantasy and mystique is awesome in the lyrics. The presentation and music may well be quite simple, but is very much extremely effective. Whilst ‘Rome is on Fire’, which in itself is Bewitcher’s more epic track, you can sit back and be in awe of the spells that these American’s are catching.

Later this month they will be on tour in the UK with Visigoth, that’s a strong line up, make sure you catch them if you can. Whilst in summary, this album presents nothing more than I would expect from this band, it’s got more soul than their debut and the stunning artwork has a nice balance. On reflection, ‘’Under the Witching Cross’ is a really cool package.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)