Witchery (1997-present): a Black Metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden.
he Swedish gothic black metal band Witchery were launched onto the music scene in 1997 featuring mostly members of the recently departed Satanic Slaughter with the membership of Tony "Toxine" (ex-Satanic Slaughter; vocals), Rille "Richard Corpse" (ex-Satanic Slaughter; guitar), Patrik Jensen (of The Haunted/ex-Satanic Slaughter; guitar), Micke "Mique" (ex-Satanic Slaughter; drums) and Sharlee D'Angelo (ex-Mercyful Fate/ex-Sinergy/ex-Illwill/ex-Arch Enemy/ex-Dismember; bass).
Witchery set themselves up as one of Europe's leading black metal bands (although, it is argued their music also crosses the threshold of the Death and Thrash genres as well). They quickly set about making two (and a half) monumental recordings in quick order. After Jensen completed recording The Haunted's debut album on the 22nd of Dec. 1997, he went to Linköping to write the remaining 5 songs for Witchery's upcoming debut. That debut, Restless And Dead (1998), was a powerful and basic blast of Thrash and black metal.
But their full power was achieved on their second effort, Witchburner EP (1999), which featured a title track of high speed and creative blast of Thrash meets black metal that propelled them into the common Metal vocabulary around the world, most especially in their home genre: black metal. It was the only new track on the entire disc, the remainder being cover tracks of decidedly non black metal acts, including W.A.S.P.'s I Wanna Be Somebody. As silly as Toxine sounded as he growled the lyrics to that mega-hit track it was nonetheless one of the many strong and classy numbers that convinced many that this band had talent and should be listened to. Their classic black metal costumes of spikes, black leather and shiny black vinyl didn't hurt their image either. Toxine played his part well, coming across as another Alice Cooper.
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A few months previous, 'Necropolis', (the ir label) was so excited by the Restless And Dead debut album they had postponed the release until the fall of 1998 to be able to launch a full promotion campaign and so the plans for the next full-length started to form with the band. So while the EP and album were being promoted and pushed, ten new songs were completed in only nine days with the recording taking a mere six. The new album was was recorded in the beginning of July 1998 at Blue Hill Studios, Linkoping, Sweden (although later remixed at Oral Majority in Gothenburg by Roberto Laghi). The resulting album,DeadHot And Ready (1999) was less amusing but nonetheless a powerful sample of their genre.
Witchery, for all it's accomplishments was designed as a side-project for its members and during some downtime in 2000 the members engaged in their day projects with Toxine, Richard and Mique on a new Seance album, Sharlee with Arch Enemy and Jensen with The Haunted, (who´s most recent album got nominated for a Swedish Grammy Award in 2004).
In 2001 Witchery were back in formation for the follow-up, Symphony For The Devil, an album that received less fanfare than the previous efforts but continued along the traditional Witchery lines despite the absence of Mique, who would be replaced with Martin Axerot (a.k.a. Axe/a.k.a. Devastator) on drums. Although it was recorded in 2004 their Don't Fear The Reaper album would arrive in 2006 on the 'Century Media' label, as would Witchkrieg (a play on the word 'Blitzkrieg') in 2010. In April of that year black metal singer Legion (Real Name: Erik Hagsted; ex-Marduk/ex-Devian) joined the band to replace Toxine who left because of scheduling issues.
Footnote: At their 2001 show in Toronto Diskery author and founder Derek McDonald had the pleasure of meeting and shaking the hand of "Toxine"; it was cold to the touch (no joke).
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