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Black Magic – Wizard’s Spell

Published:

Last Updated on 11:19 PM by Nikos Nakos

Genre: Black / Thrash Metal/N.W.O.B.H.M./Speed
Country: Norway
Label: High Roller Records
Year: 2014

written by Giorgos Tsekas & Elpida Baphomet

If the only words you use to describe Black Magic to someone unfamiliar with them in order to lure them in your dungeon and listen to their music, is that these guys were Fenriz ‘s “Band of the Week” or that the album was released via High Roller Records, then without saying something wrong ( since this way you’ve probably described them in the best possible way -and almost accurately-) you’ve achieved your purpose. On the other hand, while referring to so many things about them, at the same time you feel like you keep hiding so much more… Recently, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, there is a shift in the paths of pure heavy metal from people who have written the most extreme music in other bands. Black Magic constitute such a project and indeed remarkable, compared to other similar releases.

Black Magic was created in 2006 by Jon (I do not know anything more about him and I don’t think anyone does) on bass, guitars and vocals and Cato Stormoen (who answers to the name “Sadomancer” in Deathhammer) on drums and vocals and right before they disbanded in 2012, they released 2 demos; “Raise the Dead” (2007) and “Reap of Evil” (2010) which were quite awesome, with the sound determined as raw and aggressive black / thrash. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something so special, so no buzzing around their name. So we arrive in 2014 almost two years after their breakup (!) and the release of their first album. Surprisingly, the album was recorded in 2010, even though it was eventually released in 2014. We are talking about an album released by High Roller Records in an initially LP limited to 500 copies. The first pressing included 350 black and 150 orange vinyls (this Halloween-ish orange) and disappeared within a few hours (that’s pre – order’s magic). The second press included 250 CD and 250 LPs in black / orange. Many thought that the artwork on the album’s cover is an intersection of Deathhammer’s “Onward to the Pits” and Slayer’s “Show No Mercy”. And who told you that it’s not? If you pay closer attention – objectively – this is a wonderful combination of those two bands, which is not a bad thing.

In their debut album, you can hear something different (comparing it to the earlier demo) and simultaneously improved. Their sound was inoculated with N.W.O.B.H.M. elements and Mercyful Fate-isms , having as a result to remind us of many Scandinavian bands of ’80s such as Oz and the Heavy Load. The opening instrumental “Black Magic” is a devout evocative introduction to the record, which immediately defines the mood of the album, reminding us of the ‘70s and those rough synthesizer sounds. “Black Magic” gives a perfect pass on “Rite of the Wizard”, an amazing song that stirs successful many subspecies of metal (but has N.W.O.B.H.M. as its basis). The (top) instrumental “Voodoo Curse” is packed with melody and Maiden – esque passages (and a Slayer introduction). Excellent work, like listening to Tokyo Blade’s type of NWOBHM. It is an instrumental that suddenly lifts the disc and makes it desirable by easily jealous bands of the genre. “Thunder” is a speed dynamite with nice little Maiden import. “Death Militia” has a chorus that brings to mind Heavy Load, having an intense epic mood. “Night of Mayhem” is certainly the hidden gem of the album. Personally favorite. It is the piece that embraces like no other this N.W.O.B.H.M. that gave birth to Venom, Kat and Bathory, whom we all worship as they raised us to be proper people. The album closes with “Possessed” and “Embrace by the Occult” that turn the style of the album into a more black / thrash one, riding through rough trails, winking in the past. “Possessed” moves at a slower and excruciating pace. No need to do an extensive analysis of the lyrics to understand that they come from a tortured soul that brings pain from inside the cauldrons of hell. The dude hurts, not kidding. He feels the flames of hell “tickling” his paws. “Embrace by the Occult” makes your heart beat faster and louder as the shrieks live on through you. Please note that the songs 6 to 9, ie side B in the vinyl, have already been released in the “Reap of Evil” demo in 2010.

A rather peculiar record, stitching one piece to another but without underwhelming anyone. It’s not something extremely special or having compositions that will remain forever in the pantheon of extreme heavy metal records (well… hmm… with a small exception for the anthem “Embrace by the Occult”); “Wizard’s Spell” is aimed at those loving the Kult and those who love to support the underground. Estimated by natural – audio enthusiasts .. For those who love speed and dirt and the mixing of NWOBHM melody with the roughness of the black / thrash genre.

Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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