Thuringian act Nocturnal Witch were formed five years ago, but this isn’t but this band’s first full length. After two demos in the early years, Nocturnal Witch released the 7”EP Into Dungeons via Evil Spell Records (a sub-division of Undercover Records), and via the very same label one can now enjoy the debut. It was recorded in five days only (which causes that raw and unpolished, yet truly organic sound) at Black Magic Studio in September 2013, and mixed at the beginning of winter 2013-2014. The engineering, by the way, was done by nobody else but Impending Doom’s Patrick W. Engel, who did work as producer / engineer for hundreds of acts, like Desaster, Hellish Crossfire, Eternity, Beyond, Misery Speaks etc., at the famous Temple Of Disharmony Studio.
The band (in fact it’s a duo, consisting of drummer Baphomet and vocalist / bassist / guitar player Tyrant) performs a timeless form of Black / Thrash, clearly rooted in the early years’ scene. Summoning Hell opens with Hellfire Cult, a track that shows the ‘core’ of Nocturnal Witch. It’s a mid-tempo track with some faster parts, an extremely energetic rhythm section, masterly melodic leads, evil vocals, booze-and-Satan lyrics, simplistic yet convincing riffs, and elements from Teutonic Thrash, First Wave Black Metal and even hints of Barbaric Death Metal. Black Star goes on within the very same direction, yet with another execution. It means, and in fact this goes for the whole album, that there is a very specific own approach; Nocturnal Witch are a band with an own identity, but with the knowledge not to fall into boredom by adding the necessary variation in riffing and song structures.
Besides, the quality of the tracks is extremely high. Some are good, others are fantastic. Whether it be a slower piece filled with abyssal obscurity, or a nasty speed-up Thrash-assault; in each case Nocturnal Witch maintain to create an attractive eardrum-molester without losing eye for / sight on persuasion and conviction. Also the production is more than decent. The album sounds rough and depraved, like an improved Eighties-sound.
Recommended if you like: early Venom, early Bathory, early Sodom, Desaster, Nifelheim, Kreator, Darkthrone, (early) Deströyer 666 etc.