Genre: Heavy Metal/N.W.O.B.H.M.
Country: Spain
Label: Eventhink Metal Records
Year: 2016

Simplicity and straight-forwardness are two of the most undisputed features of the N.W.O.B.H.M. genre throughout all these years – from the late 70s until today – and throughout its journey from every pub of urban England to almost every corner of this Earth. Simplicity and straight-forwardness are the features that characterize the second album of the Spanish N.W.O.B.H.M, act Witchtower. While we waited impatiently the release of their first full length album that would help them escape from the barriers of their country, however, their debut “Witchtower” (2014) failed to succeed in that mission. Too bad, because the 2013 demo “Return to Castle Witch” had prepared us for something extraordinary. Of course, it wasn’t a bad album, but for some inexplicable reason passed rather unnoticed. To avoid speaking for others, we at Metal Invader, while we did an interview with the band in the same year, we didn’t review / present the album… “Hammer of Witches” shouldn’t be ignored or considered of little importance. It contains 10 well -crafted tracks, focused upon upright Heavy Metal structures that’s based on both speed and melodies. Simple compositions but with much substance and certainly feeling. The production is clean but far from fake or polished. The sound is retro and everything sounds like a rougher version of Diamond Head. The accent of the singer doesn’t betray his Latin roots, something that’s definitely positive. ‘Better Run’ is definitely a great track while that Judas Priest -in spirit of Hell Bent For Leather- track “November 1786” is rather a small ode to the British lads than just a normal track. It introduces “Darkest Hour” which has a raw, brutal punk essence in the style of Venom. The album doesn’t at any point get boring, while “Black Cauldron”, if it didn’t remind us so much of Angel Witch, it would be anthem. They need to take a bit more care of their influences and the way they filter them and at the same time I cannot ignore their ability to write memorable riffs and great melodies. It’s an intense disc, if anything else.

4/6