With the passage of two years since the release of their demo, along with a hefty helping of gigs under their belts, Mid-Atlantic powerhouse WITCHTRIAL have at long last bestowed upon us all the absolutely thunderous offering that is their self titled 12" EP. Drawing equally on the cult sounds of mid-80's international hardcore punk and the early days of underground extreme metal, WITCHTRIAL has made it their duty to remind us that there'd be no HELLHAMMER without DISCHARGE and no BATHORY without GBH. This slab features 6 brand new cuts of the driving metalpunk madness that many a maniac has embraced since the group's inception. Recorded by Carson Cox and mastered by Will Killingsworth ensuring a sonic assault that is unmatched. Each record comes in a jacket emblazoned with a dazzling layout designed by Reuben Storey.
Our take: After their earlier demo-pressed-to-vinyl here’s a proper debut from DC’s Witchtrial. Witchtrial came out of the gate sounding fully formed on that demo, so it’s no surprise that not a lot has changed on this record, which is great news if you were already a fan. While Witchtrial draws their membership from DC’s fertile hardcore punk scene, they sound like a full-on metal band. I’m sure the members all like looser and punkier metal bands like Hellhammer and Bathory, but Witchtrial doesn’t sound like those bands. I hear little of the grime I associate with death, thrash, black, or other established extreme metal subgenres here either. The songs are mid-paced, complex but not ornate or technical, and played with a precision that approaches clinical. If you can imagine a heavier, tougher version of early 80s Judas Priest played by people who probably own Age of Quarrel, you’re in the ballpark. I wish the band would cut loose and rip a little harder, but if you like your metal dense, precise, and sophisticated you’ll enjoy this.