Over 20 years into their existence, Swedish blackened Thrash Metallers WITCHERY stay the course crafted on last year’s praised “In His Infernal Majesty’s Service” album and offer a slab of 11 new deadly anthems (and 2 more as bonus on the limited Digipak CD edition) on their newest full-length studio effort “I Am Legion”.
Forging onwards in the revamped line-up introduced on “IHIMS” consisting of Jensen (Guit., The Haunted), Rikard Rimfält (Guit., Seance), Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass, Arch Enemy), Angus Norder (Vox, Nekrokraft) and Chris Barkensjö (Drums, LIK), WITCHERY once more relied on the expertise of acclaimed producer Daniel Bergstrand / Dug Out Studio (Behemoth, In Flames, Meshuggah) to enhance their newest nocturnal anthems with an organic, yet powerfully up-to-date sound, which is sure to please every fan of blackened Thrash/Death- and Heavy Metal. “I Am Legion” features brief guest appearances by among others Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), Mike Wead (King Diamond) or also Nicholas Barker (Lock Up) and comes packaged in striking artwork by long-time partner in visuals Andreas “Diaz” Pettersson.
Guitarist and founding member Jensen checked in to comment on “I Am Legion” as follows:
“The first few days after the release of "Nosferatu" (the first single from 2016's "In His Infernal Majesty's Service" album) I was quite taken aback. There had been so many years between the releases of "Don't Fear The Reaper" and "Witchkrieg" (4 years) and then an additional 6 more years between "Witchkrieg" and "In His Infernal Majesty’s Service" that I hardly thought anyone remembered WITCHERY anymore...
We got our s*** together for “IHIMS” in order to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. We wrote new songs and got a few new members so we could make the album happen and have it released in 2016. But that was the goal; to merely celebrate the band's 20 years of existence. Then, after "Nosferatu” was released, this massive wave of appreciation started to surface. When the full album dropped in November 2016 we experienced a surge of positive feedback on the rest of the album as well. I mean, we all loved the album and knew it was good, but we were thrilled to see that also other people heard what we heard; that it was a great album and that this line-up had both the chops and riffs needed, displaying them with an enthusiasm and bravado perhaps not seen since maybe the early days of the band’s existence!
This feedback of positive energy set things in motion within the band. Remembering our promise from somewhere around the release of the "Dead, Hot And Heavy" album that we would put out two albums a year (youthful hubris, anyone?), we thought to ourselves: "Let's try to put out a new album within a year of the release of IHIMS". Said and done.
So here we are. It's August 2017, and we are very happy and immensely proud to announce "I Am Legion", the new full-length follow-up album to 2016's “IHIMS”, scheduled for release on November 10th! With "I Am Legion" having the same line-up, the same studio (Dug Out Studio) and the same producer (Danne Bergstrand) as on “IHIMS”, you just know that this will be yet another sonic fist-to-the-face riffage offering! We think “IHIMS” is great album, but we also think "I Am Legion" takes everything up a notch or two!
Those of you who saw us play at Wacken a few weeks ago got to hear the world premiere of the song "True North", which will be the first single from the new album. We are very excited about "I Am Legion" and we hope this release shows that WITCHERY, albeit after 20 years of existence, isn't going to fade away. On the contrary, WITCHERY is more likely entering the most productive phase yet in the band's career!”
Historical background info:
WITCHERY were founded in Linköping, Sweden around 1996 when drummer Mique, bass player Rikard Rimfält and guitarists Toxine and Jensen were asked to leave Satanic Slaughter by founding member Ztephan Dark over musical differences. These four musicians decided to carry on with the style of music they had started as members of Satanic Slaughter and took the name WITCHERY.
Toxine switched to vocals and Rikard Rimfält moved to guitar duties. A new bass player was found in Sharlee D'Angelo. Two years later they released “Restless And Dead”, the title hinting at metal icons Accept and their classic “Restless And Wild” album. The second release was the EP “Witchburner” (1999), once more paying homage to their idols: They covered songs by WASP, Judas Priest, Accept, Black Sabbath and added three tracks of their own. The same year WITCHERY launched “Dead, Hot And Ready“, and toured with Emperor and Borknagar in North America as well with Kreator and Moonspell throughout Europe early the following year. Drummer Mique left the band prior to the recording of “Symphony For The Devil” (2001) and was replaced by Martin Axenrot (Now in Opeth / Bloodbath). “Don´t Fear The Reaper” (2006) was the band's debut on Century Media Records, once more combining their trademarked precision, force and melody. 2010 saw the launch of their ”Witchkrieg” album, which featured new vocalist Legion (ex-Marduk/Devian) replacing longtime frontman Toxine…and even a guest lead-guitar appearance by Slayer’s Kerry King was to be found on the album!
WITCHERY played a score of festivals and did a tour of Japan together with Vader and Watain in support of “Witchkrieg”, but unfortunately the band’s line-up rotation continued. While former Dark Funeral vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula assumed live-session duties for a while, it was only right before the recording sessions for “In His Infernal Majesty’s Service” that Jensen managed to gather the right new line-up, which saw new additions Angus Norder (Vox) and Chris Barkensjö (Drums) suitably complement the band’s backbone-trinity of Jensen (Guit.), Rikard Rimfält (Guit.) and Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass). The newly aligned group’s live-debut at Germany’s prestigious Wacken Open Air in 2017 has served to open a next chapter in the history of WITCHERY and “I Am Legion” marks a bewitching next step forwards for these pioneers of the blackened Thrash/Heavy Metal style.