Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bewitched - Dragonflight (1997)

On their second album, Dragonflight, Bewitched's sound was much more influenced by the masters Mercyful Fate. The riffing and songwriting here are superb and I can't recommend this hidden jewel enough. The original press of Dragonflight has been out of print for years, but it was "reissued" by Keltic Records (vocalist Doomicus' own label) sometime in 2007. Why the brackets in "reissued"? Because it's not really a reissue, since many tracks were re-recorded and it was also remixed. This new version of Dragonflight also featured the original tape cover which was not used on the original cd.

If you're interested in purchasing the 2007 version of Dragonflight, contact Keltic Records here. They might still have some copies left.

I allowed myself to steal this review by Vic, originally published on LARM, because his description is much better than mine.

I chose this as an alternative one of the many times I tried ordering Taake’s debut album, and I have never been happier to get an alternate selection in a mail order purchase in my life! This Bewitched is not to be confused with the Swedish retro-rock-thrashers; this Bewitched is a five-piece band from Chile, and their album "Dragonflight" is apparently their second album (the first having sold out rather rapidly, as well as being ultra-limited to begin with....). It’s also one of the most purely ‘METAL’ albums I’ve heard in a long time. They incorporate many elements from most extreme styles of metal: thrash, power, speed, death, and black, but oddly their sound is quite well-focused and best summed up with one comparison. This band is the second coming of Mercyful Fate. Long, musically adventurous songs are jam-packed full of speedy, technical, but still aggressive and powerful riffs, the guitarists are two of the best soloists around, and the vocalist Doomicus’ voice can keep up with King Diamond and then some! He can growl, he can scream, he can do falsetto for hours, but he also has some very harsh BM-style screaming, and his voice also has a similar (but still distinct) tendency to have that ‘theatrical’ tinge to it.

The disc is fourteen tracks and over 71 minutes long, so it’s definitely worth the money. Hot tracks are the opening song "Poetry of my Forest" (a thrasher on par with anything off "Don’t Break the Oath"), the epic "Total Destruction/Last Breath (in four parts)" (a multi-part behemoth with some doomy sections, blazing parts, and one of the best melodic guitar solo sections ever), and a cover of Mercyful Fate’s "Black Funeral" (where IMO vocalist Doomicus actually outdoes the mighty King), but honestly there isn’t a bad song on the disc. The packaging is nicely done as well - a very neat cover painting and some photos of beautiful Chilean forests inside, with great notes and all lyrics. The only thing that could be griped about is the production, which isn’t horrible, really, just kind of odd: the vocals and guitars are all loud, clean, and crisp, but the drums are far too quiet and with some odd sounds (the kicks sound like clacking pencils and the ride is almost obnoxiously high above the other drums) and the bass is almost totally nonexistent. Nevertheless, the absolute quality of the music easily outweighs the down points, so this still gets an unqualified recommendation from me.

01 - Intro
02 - Poetry of My Forest
03 - Funeral
04 - Dragonflight
05 - Wotan's Curse
06 - Candles of Doom
07 - The Prophecy / Aquarian Revelation
08 - The Threat of Winter Community
09 - Warfare
10 - Snowfall
11 - Dancing Upon Your Grave (Outro)
12 - Black Funeral (Mercyful Fate cover)
13 - Souls Tears (Remix 666)
14 - Serene Sorrow (New Mix of Hades Including Trance Exorcism 666)


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