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A Review of the Album "Restless & Dead" by Swedish Black and Thrash Metal Band Witchery

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Skeleton With a Scythe

The Reaper is also a symbol of Witchery's music and there is even a song on this album called The Reaper.

The Reaper is also a symbol of Witchery's music and there is even a song on this album called The Reaper.

About the Album Restless & Dead & the Musicians That Play On It

"Restless & Dead" is the 1998 studio album by Swedish black and thrash metal band Witchery and as music fans know, in my review of the band’s second album called Dead, Hot and Ready, I discussed about the musical contributions of bassist Sharlee D’ Angelo who of course also plays for the famous Swedish band Arch Enemy. The album’s cover shows a skeleton that is in a graveyard as he is laughing and tipping over a gravestone.

Also making their appearance is The Haunted’s Patrik Jensen. Doing the vocals is Tony Kampner who has a sort of raspy, snake like vocal approach.

"The Reaper"

As the photo says a witch isn't always a bad thing.

As the photo says a witch isn't always a bad thing.

Wichery & the Term With and What It Means

Witchery came onto the scene with their horror based lyrics and for those of you that have the courage and strength to be able to handle their music, you will be just fine. The term witch has usually a bad connotation to it or it is one of those creatures that is associated with Halloween, the holiday in which people in the United States dress up in costumes and go trick or treating to get candy. But, I have digressed a bit here so let’s get back to discussing the band Witchery.

What Is the Musical Style of the Album Restless & Dead?

However, this first album has more of a melodic black metal approach however I would not call this album a Catamenia type of clone by any means. However, as with the King Diamond albums, albums by Witchery have lyrics dealing with hell, fire, and Satanism so it may not be a good idea to listen to this kind of music at all times, only when you are in a good enough mood to be able to handle it. “Into Purgatory” has a riffing section that reminds me of the song Full Moon which would come on the band’s next album. Basically, Restless & Dead can be thought of as a mix of death metal, rock and roll, and thrash mixed into one 35 minute album to create a very enjoyable debut album from these Swedish veterans.

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"The Hangman"

A Brief Review of the Album Restless & Dead

This album begins with “The Reaper” which has that “I’m coming to get you” kind of attitude and right away, Witchery wants to show us their brand of ferocity in terms of this death and black metal combined with thrash. But as usual with these kinds of albums I won’t be doing a review for all of Witchery’s albums due to the lyrical content and approach musically. There’s only so much that I like to hear in terms of lyrics of this type. “Midnight at the Graveyard” starts with a sort of Slayer influenced riff in the beginning. “The Hangman” however is a bit of a departure from the first three songs as it is slower in pace and there are soft vocal parts. The song is about being taken to the Promised Land by an evil spirit or force. “Born in the Night” is a mostly instrumental song that is influenced by South of Heaven era Slayer as the beginning riff repeats itself over and over with little variation. The title track in this album definitely has a thrash metal feel to it as the song lyrically describes a situation w is a cold night with the moon howling where the dead spirits will rise again. Overall, this debut album by Witchery is quite good but still a step down from their second studio album.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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