Witchseeker – Scene Of The Wild Review

Witchseeker hails from Singapore, but their brand of metal is a mostly Western one, a mash-up of NWOBHM trad and classic American-style speed-metal with just a dash of Hollywood glammy sleaze. So put on your leather pants and strap on your BC Rich Warlock; we’re going old-school today.

Release date: March 26, 2021. Label: Dying Victims Productions.
Like your Enforcers and Pounders and dozens of similar new-old acts, Witchseeker pays homage to the glory days of heavy metal, when big riffs and catchy choruses ruled the land and there weren’t 15 sub-genre-specific adjectives to distinguish one lane from the next. This is fast, melodic, driven by speedy guitars and double-time drums; it’s infectious and exuberant, even if (perhaps especially because) it’s still rough around the edges. Vocalist / bassist Sheikh Spitfire sounds like he’s having a blast recounting tales of “Nights In Tokyo” and “Screaming In The Moonlight,” or simply “Rock[ing] This Night Away,” or expressing a “Lust For Dust.” The tempos range from fast to faster — there are no ballads, with only the midtempo verses of “Candle In The Dark” even coming close. Take classic Riot and Loudness and Anvil and just a hint of Sunset Strip, mash it all up, and voila, Witchseeker.

Of course, as it is with any of these retro-trad rockers, the ultimate concern is “can they bring the thunder on the level of their heroes?” The style is well established, so the result hinges on the overall quality of those big riffs and catchy choruses, and therein, Witchseeker succeeds admirably. The bouncy swagger of Scene Of The Wild‘s title track opens things up, the primary example of those aforementioned hints of sleazy slink, like a heavier take on something from the first LA Guns record. New second guitarist Nick Stormbringer adds a slightly shreddier complement to Brandon Speedranger’s rawer style, the two trading solos between Aip’s cracking beat and Spitfire’s snarling wail.

From that opening onward, Witchseeker’s energy is undeniable, be it the High Spirits-y drive of “Rock This Night Away” (made all the better with its goofy, Spinal Tap-leaning refrain of “Let’s rock this night away tonight!”) or the blistering “Be Quick Or Be Dead,” which is not an Iron Maiden cover. By the time the equally aggressive “Hellions Of The Night” rolls around, you should’ve already spilled a beer on your spandex and sweated through your WASP shirt. Sure, Witchseeker’s not the most original band on the planet — that’s not the name of this game. This game is about rocking this night — and every night — away… tonight. So come on and scream along in the moonlight.

But there is one question that begs to be asked of those who seek the witch: When you find her, well…

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

  1. Brutalist_Receptacle March 23, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I put on my leather pants and strap on. Now what.


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