Originally released way back in 2002 on Colombian label Hell Attacks Productions but now getting a well-deserved rerun thanks to the wretched souls at Hells Headbangers, Witchtrap’s debut full-lengther hasn’t aged a bit in the decade and a half since first contact.
Primitive blackthrash was the order of the day from these guys back then, though actually the production values on this album are generally pretty good it has to be said. The primitivism lies in the brutality with which all three band members attack their respective tasks; Witchammer is a simple yet effective drummer, powering things along nicely without ever really doing anything out of the ordinary. Like a good referee at a football match, the fact that you don’t really notice his presence means he’s having a good game…
Guitarist Burning Axe Ripper thrashes his instrument in best Mantas fashion, and his raspy, slightly mayhemic vocal performance brings to mind a young Mille Petrozza which is obviously a good thing also. Bassist Dark Moon has his moments – you can hear him pounding away manfully at the start of the doom laden Dead of the Night for instance – but overall there’s not a lot of room for him to manouevre in the at times dry, slightly suffocatory mix.
This is good metal, especially maniacal thrashers like the excellent second track Ripping Torment and the title track; and even when the band departs from the satanic path, as it does on the NWoBHM-inspired instrumental Gypsy Ritual – Face the Evil there’s still a naïve, unharnessed power to the music that the band is creating that keeps the listener involved. So, though it’s even less likely to trawl any new converts in 2017 than it was fifteen years ago, if you love a bit of basic, meat and two veg blackened thrash and you don’t already own Sorceress Bitch than this new opportunity to rectify that state of affairs should be most welcome.