Witchcraft- The Alchemist
The Cover: A simple, fairly straightforward drawing of an androgynous witch with ravens and flowers. The praying hands contradicting with the band name, I'd take a guess that this is industrial/metal with "God is fraud/I hate myself and wanna die" desperation lyrics. Though I'm kind of completely thrown off by the complete lack of the color black being completely absent from this cover. So my guess, is highly laughable self serious metal made on the cheap.
The CD inside the cover: I really can't recall the last time I've been this thrown off my horse by an album we've received with out prior knowledge as to what it is. This is fantastic. It's metal, all right, but the kind of metal that hipsters and indie rock kids like myself can get down with. The band is a tight combination of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The singer has a smooth controlled voice that wouldn't be out of place dueting with Hall or Oates that at the same time recalls Glenn Danzig. (An actual Danzig duet with Hall or Oates would be amazing think of it "oh oh here she comes!, she's a man eater!") The lyrics stick with the old metal precedents, walls of confusion, pots of gold, witches etc. all serving as metaphors for psychic unrest, drug problems, father/mother issues. The Alchemist clocks in at a spartan 45 minutes, recalling the short bursts of great Sabbath albums like Master Of Reality or Paranoid. In no way overstaying it's welcome, The Alchemist gets in and gets out. In every way this album sounds completely out of step with modern metal, without sounding too much like a nostalgia act.
This is what Judge By The Cover is all about, an album transcending biases and music snobbery in spite of it's appearances.