Formed in 1986 you would be forgiven for thinking that Witches are past their sell-by date but with this just their third full-length release it is a brand new lease on life. Absolutely mind-blowing from start to finish and in just under thirty minutes you will fall in love with them either all over again or for the first time. Sibylle Colin-Tocquaine’s guttural vocals still sound as fresh as a daisy thirty-odd years on and the assembled line up is really tight musically with blasting drums, unbelievably fast guitars and heavy bass. Every single track on this album is played at full tilt and with the utmost precession which is to their credit as this is where most other bands fail, all speed but no finesse.
From the opening strains of “We Are” you know you are in for a treat as Sibylle absolutely kills the vocals, with a phenomenal drum beat propping up the track it’s a cracking way to start, and it doesn’t let up. “Inside” is a brutally fast affair with killer riffs and more pulsating drums, how Juré’s arms haven’t fallen off with the relentless pace, and its only the second track. “Damned Skin Is Mine” has a real thrashy feel to it, ultra-fast guitars high on the treble, machine-gun drumming but Sibylle’s vocals push it over the edge and it is a track that will stick with you long after listening. “Black From Sorrow” is a grinder with a much slower tempo, near pedestrian drumming compared to previous tracks, a riff that worms it way through the track and a nice little bass ditty halfway through before the track picks up the pace as it draws to a close. “Feared And Adored” blasts into life with some breakneck speed drumming that sets the tone for the track and has the guitars and bass fighting to keep up all the while Sibylle lays down some serious vocals. “Off The Flesh” again boasts amazing drums while the guitar has a more melodic riff that is reminiscent of Kreator giving it a kind of old school feels with a killer new era edge. “
Let Stones Fall” is a monster track with a back and forth melodic style riff that really stands out against the more aggressive drumming, with a nice solo thrown in for good measure and a sneaky bassline rumbling underneath it all. “Last Wishes” dismisses with the niceties of the previous track with some seriously pounding drums, slapping bass, harsh riffs, and Sibylle’s trademark vocals. “Death In The Middle Ages” closes the album is the only way it can, full speed. Riffs out the door, atomic drumming, cool bass, and ripper vocals, throw in a deadly solo and you have the ultimate closing track.
The tightness and proficiency on this album are amazing and a true testament to their individual musical prowess.
The Fates is out 5th June via mighty Spells Records
Sibylle Colin-Tocquaine Vocals, guitar
Jonathan “Sangli” Juré Drums