Witchfield are listed as a doom metal band when you look them up on the internet, but in reality it is a solo project of metal drummer Andrea Vianelli, who uses the artistic name Thomas Hand Chaste. Vianelli has been active in the Italian metal scene with various bands since 1981, and released one earlier album Sleepless under the Witchfield moniker in 2009. This second album, Sabbatai Zevi, is a concept album that tells the (true) story of a Jewish rabbi, who considered himself the new Messiah, but later converted to Islam.
When I heard the first track of this album, while reading up on the background of the band, I was expecting a doom metal album, because that is the genre in which most online resources position the band. This was not entirely correct.
The first two tracks after the short intro, Living On Trees and Sabbatai Zevi are indeed slow, heavy metal tracks, with gothic/new wave like vocals and matching guitar solos.
However, the four tracks that follow are quite different in style, more melodic, and with a mix of male (I Feel The Pain, Walk, Make Up Your Mind) and female (Contintent) vocals. The melodies are build with keyboards, guitars and an occasional organ, making it far from a metal album.
Only near the end with Heart Of Soldier does the real metal sound come back, before the closing Falling Star, again with female vocals, brings us back to the world of melody and keyboards.
All over, this album is well executed, and nicely composed. However, I don't hear many new or really exciting things in it - so besides being a nice listen, it's not an album that will get a lot of playing time amongst all the new things that have been released.
Enjoyable, but not a must have.
*** Angelo Hulshout (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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