Wild Witch hail from Brazil, that seemingly burgeoning hotbed of up and coming metal bands and this album adds to the country’s growing reputation.
The band was formed in 2011 as a quartet but following the departure of vocalist Flav Scheidt we are now presented with a trio consisting of Felipe “Rippervert” on bass and now vocals, Mariano Burich on guitar and Weiberlan Garcia on drums.
Having released their debut EP Burning Chains in 2013, these metallers are determined to make an impact on the scene with The Offering, available now through Arthorium Records.
Whilst stating their influences as Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Venom, my overwhelming feeling is the classic sound of Scottish New Wave of Heavy Metal legends Holocaust.
Holocaust, you may remember, were made famous after their song “The Small Hours” was covered by Metallica on their The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited EP and later appeared on Garage Inc.
Metallica, through numerous covers of obscure tracks, has managed to bring the music of many relatively unknown bands to the masses, a nice trick pulled off sweetly.
This album harkens back, as many would have it, to the glory days of the NWoBHM and opens with an homage to the genre with “Heavy Metal Inferno”, a solid piece of work with the required heavy riffs, screaming solo and sneering vocals.
You cannot call this album sophisticated, but neither would Wild Witch. They are here to rock and continue to do so with “Night Rulers”. ‘Basic’ may be an appropriate word to use but it doesn’t really do the band justice when they deliver straight up metal like this.
“To the Lions” follows next with a great opening burst of soloing. This is a faster song with a gang vocal chorus and just about hits the spot.
“From the Purgatory” is a mildly threatening track with a slower, heavier feel although the blueprint is still maintained. This is the most Holocaust-like song on the album, dark and atmospheric.
For the best song title on The Offering, look no further than “Diabolical Jaws”. Great title, don’t you think? As for the song itself, it picks up the pace once again and Felipe “Rippervert” lifts his intimidating vocal style and almost seems to enjoy singing this one.
The pace is to the fore once again on “Blades of Pain” and Felipe returns to his menacing vocal work. It’s not The Offering’s best track but does maintain a decent riff.
“Exiles in Hell” is a cracking track for headbanging, with a solid riff and the demand to be played loud, but I suppose all metal songs should be like that.
We finish with “Lightning on the Road” which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t stray from the path. Solid riffs, sinister vocals and decent lengthy soloing are all on display here.
Whilst not “offering” much in the way of groundbreaking music, Wild Witch has produced a solid album revering their chosen genre. The riffs are tough and consistent, the vocals threatening and the solos well constructed. These boys from Brazil have delivered an album of promise and I look forward to seeing the direction they will take for album number two.