Bewitched – Somewhere Beyond the Mist

qb_51903_bewitchedNot to be confused with the nostalgia thrashers in Sweden bearing the same name, Chili’s Bewitched are an eclectic metal horde that cherish the forces of old doom, death, and black metal to arrive at a sound that is truly original. It was this old school spirit that made their last release, “Dragonflight” simply amazing to me as they seemed to arrive at a vibrant sound that was a working cross between Candlemass and Mercyful Fate both vocally and musically. “Somewhere Beyond the Mist” has sadly left this style behind to explore an even more “out there” blend of all the genres available under the metal shield of war. The vocals are still very mixed, but far more septic, or black metal fueled. The clean vocal presence has nearly dropped all the King Diamond falsetto (The KD trait still exists on the cleverly named “Merciful Faith”) and Messiah Marcoln vibrato (this CD does contain a very good version of Candlemass’ “Bewitched”), in favor of a more triumphant croon. Overall, Bewitched has come to a point where they have purged a great deal of their influences to obtain a far more original sound, but for it I feel a lot of the classic metal aura that made “Dragonflight” so special, has been lost in favor of a more modern coldness. The synth work is still subtle, though at times flamboyant, and almost carnival-ish in the sound selection, but how it intertwines with acoustic guitars, quieter moments of music and of course the full on death/doom riffage, their accompaniment effectively colorizes their music with even more intelligent development. The music is mainly mid paced, being filled with memorable note based riffs that cascade into meaty power chords to inspire very adventurous solo work. The latter is quite tasteful as the guitarists center their efforts on highlighting a song with colorful melodies, rather than the pretentious flash that usually kills a solo for these ears. “Somewhere Beyond the Mist” is quite impressive from a creative standpoint, but I can’t deny the fact that I will likely spin this albums predecessor far more often due to the warm nature of that material. Still, if you don’t have their past efforts to compare, I think you’ll find that this is a very enjoyable doom record that works very hard to tear down the confining restrictions that still exist between all the metal genres. – Marty
CONQUISTADOR RECORDS/SUPERNAL MUSIC

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~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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