Review: Witch Hunt “Rock n´Roll Possession” [Dead Center Productions]

Review: Witch Hunt “Rock n´Roll Possession” [Dead Center Productions]

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This April Dead Center Productions has re-released digitally the debut album “Rock n’ Roll Possession” of Columbian speed metal band Witch Hunt. And this perky record is like a hailing tribute to the restless spirit of the old time’s metal.

This nostalgic band from Bogota has reunited again after long split five years ago, and only now they are ready to celebrate their musical goals, presenting all their prolific ideas on this 40-minute release. These ardent guys never meant to explore the modern musical trends, preferring old school and vibrant metal of 1980s, marking stylistic borders between heavy and thrash metal. Even the sound is tuned a bit old-fashioned, emphasizing their pure love for traditional metal, when it was so young and rebellious.

In a way “Rock n’ Roll Possession” sounds slightly primitive, without all these technical miracles or creative strangeness, almost without details; solid and intense metal straight from the old basements. The steady and speedy rhythm leads through the traditional structural lines of the songs, sometimes transforming into accelerated thrash metal. And this kind of frumpy thrash metal has positive vibes, this album totally lacks the aggression and evilness of the thrash/black metal scene of early 1980s (especially tracks “Demon Hunter” or “Hijos del Fuego”). The straightforwardness of heavy metal also reminds of something nostalgic, and without speed metal fervency this mid-tempo album sounds a little bit lifeless. So the last song “Justicia y Venganza” (recorded in 2007) proved that their drive and dynamism comes straight from emotional thrash/speed metal. The vocalist Luis Sánchez fancies the subdued recitative singing style, but every so often he breaks out with high-pitch falsetto. The melodic lines during the choruses and classical influence of guitar solos lighten up the heavy metal humdrum and with the speed metal rapidness, the assertiveness rolls up into something relatively catchy and fetching.

Witch Hunt’s fondness for old school metal demonstrates that in their world the time stands still, the contemporary tendencies just pass through unnoticed. Everything on “Rock n’ Roll Possession” is a big salute to metal era of the past – from primitive and witchy cover art and unclear sound to the melodic catchiness and classical heavy metal arrangements. Yes, these Columbians are really devoted to this old speed metal spirit, and with such faithful commitment, this debut album stands its ground quite unwaveringly.

Release date: April 23, 2021

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