The return of the band that will not die! Not that they should of course; but way long after Séance’s death (yeah I’m old-school), and through the on-again off-again existence of The Haunted, Witchery has been here. Sure, it’s been a minute since their last blistering album Witchkrieg, but things have happened, you know, life and such. With that, we’ve seen the departure of Emperor Magus Caligula on vocals and Martin Axenrot on drums (and ably replaced by Angus Norder and Chris Barkensjö respectively for this recording). A freshly moulted set of claws on an already mature beast it is; however make no mistake, after a six year nap this beast needs to rage and this latest opus is it’s perfect bellow.
Founders Jensen, Rikard Rimfält, and Sharlee D’Angelo, are once again sharp as razors and clear as day with track delivery here. Before “blackened…” anything, Witchery done it, despoiled it and mixed it up. Black metal, thrash, death, hardcore, straight-up rock has always been fair game to them, and realistically this band owns their sound. Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah and Behemoth) did them justice over at Dug Out Studio in Sweden, bringing out the raw, live feel of everything.
On tracks such as “Nosferatu” and the opening “Lavey-athan”, their Slayer-esque homage touches are strong as usual. However as you get deeper into the album to “Gilded Fang” and “Empty Tombs”, the metal and blacker elements here open up to showcase a very welcome diversity and dexterity, that keeps these guys current as well as upholding their diabolical mischief for a generation.
Totally time well spent as the album is a serious slammer; if you’ve remained one of the faithful, you should be well happy with what’s on tap here. By the time the blazing closer “Oath Breaker” ends with you all breathless, the only real problem you’re faced with is the decision to hit repeat; which would be the right thing to do. Only reason not to do that, is if you manage to cop the CD digipack version of IHIMS, with two bonus killer rare tracks from the <Witchkrieg sessions; then you can do it afterwards.
In His Infernal Majesty’s Service Track Listing:
03. Netherworld Emperor
05. The Burning Of Salem
06. Gilded Fang
07. Empty Tombs
08. In Warm Blood
09. Escape From Dunwich Valley
10. Feed The Gun
11. Oath Breaker
12. Eye For An Eye (bonus track)
13. Cloak And Dagger (bonus track)
Run Time: 37:55
Release Date: November 25, 2016
Check out the track “Nosferatu”