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:Music Review: Epic Death – Witchcraft

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Epic Death – Witchcraft
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Label: Bast Records
Websites: OfficialFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube

Review by Don Waugh Esq

Epic Death Witchraft CD CoverHaving lived in Tampa Bay for 18 years, I admit that Houston, TX, isn’t the first place I think of when I think of heavy metal.

I do think that I may need to readdress that sentiment, after listening to the debut album, Witchcraft, from headbangers Epic Death.

Formed in 2010 by frontman and guitarist Dennis Dorsett (ex-Aggravated Assault, Chaos, Mischief, Majik, Balance, and NeverDead), and featuring keyboardist/vocalist Becky Dorsett; rhythm/lead guitarist Nathan Chance; bass guitarist Justin Riddler (ex-Dead Trip), and drummer Reece Stanley (also from Dallas’ Phantom-X), Epic Death has made a name for itself in the metal world with tenacity and a “have axes, will travel” attitude that won them fans far outside the Lone Star state.

Although the band has been toiling for years, drawing off the inspiration of bands like Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Death, Cradle of Filth, and Behemoth, it is here on Witchcraft that they make their own music in their own name. Yes, I’ll admit they sound like a metal band. They are, after all, exactly that, and make no mistake of it. But—and this is the important part—you can tell this band has their own voice. While they may have all the soundscapes that define metal, there’s enough individuality here that the more you listen, the more you can make out that it’s Epic Death, and not, say, Behemoth.

The album opens with “Hide,” and this sets the tone for everything to come: namely, yes, we’re unhappy, but we’re gonna have fun with it. If you like hard driving beats and shredding guitars, you came to the right place. Standouts include tracks like “Vendetta,” “Dragon’s Blood,” “Screams From Valhalla,” and “Incantation of Epic Death,” which pretty much does everything a black metal track is supposed to do for you. And just to throw things a little loopy, there’s a nice cover of Alice Cooper’s “Poison” in there to show a little respect for a master.

While a lot of this album tends to run together in moods and currents, there is enough individuality of each track that nothing gets lost in the mix. That’s a good thing. You want continuity, but not at the expense of monotony.

While this isn’t a debut that’s going to change the world, it doesn’t need to be. What it is, ultimately, is a collection of love and labor from a band that you can tell really cares about what they sound like. And they do it in their own voice.

I’ll be honest, kids: if I were at a party, and this one came on the stereo, I’d be the guy crossing the room to find out who it was. (Yes, I like to go to those kind of parties, and yes, I’m that guy checking out the music when Shazam doesn’t come through for me.)

Track Listing
01. Hide
02. The Vendetta
03. Dragon’s Blood
04. Stay Away
05. Witchcraft
06. Poison
07. Screams From Valhalla
08. Eye of the Storm
09. Karma’s a Bitch
10. Incantation of Epic Death

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