Year of release: 2019
Released by: Filosofem Records
Rating: 7 / 10
This is the current album of the Hungarian duo WITCHER, released in 2019 by the band's own label. I have already described in detail the main properties of WITCHER music in my review of the 2012' EP re-release, so I will concentrate only on the main changes here.
...but there are not many changes actually. From the doorway, we are greeted by the same measured (except for the vigorous third track) atmospheric metal, in the sounds of which we can guess the pictures of forests peacefully sleeping under the snow and roads going into an endless distance. All the same abundant streams of keyboards, voluminous tremolo, emotionless hoarse vocals and unobtrusive programmed percussion. Therefore, changes here are only from the category of those that inevitably come with the professional growth of musicians. For example, the songs have become more consistent and coherent. They confidently move from point A to point B, take a short break, go to point C, from there to point D, wind a couple of circles, and then go to rest at point E. There is a sense of movement in the right direction. Therefore, there are fewer unnecessary arrangements, which is good. Keyboards and other melodies have improved; on the second track they are, I would say, just excellent in places. The band also enchanted the sound, after which it acquired an impressive depth and a good reverb effect, smoothing out most of the shortcomings of “homework”.
The lyrical part continues to reflect melancholy on the themes of death, the futility of being, and, if I understood correctly, restrainedly criticizes the Christian faith. One of the buyers at Bandcamp aptly described WITCHER as atmospheric metal for those who love MY DYING BRIDE, and I agree with that. The subject matter of the texts really coincides, and the mood is similar. The album still offers a small surprise: as the final track, there is a synth cover of Tchaikovsky's “Swan Lake”, which I expect to see on the main channels of the Belarusian state TV in connection with the long-awaited death of the mustachioed
homogensec. CD-version design is rather modest: 4-page booklet with spread texts, Jewel case. The cover, inlay and back are decorated with original paintings by the Anvil Kvlt design bureau; something in the spirit of Kittelsen, very beautiful, but for some reason it looks better on a computer screen - on paper the details are not so pronounced, although the print quality is beyond doubt. Details on a video.
To summarize: “A gyertyák csonkig égnek” does not offer a breakthrough in WITCHER's work, but continues to progressively develop the initial ideas. As before, recommended for fans of SUMMONING, ELDERWIND and the like.