Black Witchery - Desecration Of The Holy Kingdom (USA), LP
(Description by J. Campbell)
In 2002, Black Witchery were just beginning to establish themselves in the underground. Likewise, NWN! had just completed its first two vinyl LP releases (Blasphemy’s “Live Ritual” and Morbosidad’s self-titled debut) and was still in its embryonic stages. It was in this context that NWN! released the vinyl version of Black Witchery’s “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom.” (Although licensed from Full Moon Productions, the vinyl version of the album was conceived and executed by NWN!.) At the time, “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” represented the most morbid necromantic invocation of Blasphemy and Sarcofago and others like them that had yet been summoned forth. No other band fully captured these bands’ intense and ritualistic sound with the same violence and dedication to chaos. And yet, while the influence of these bands is undoubtedly found within their work, Black Witchery defined their own sound relying upon their mentors merely to establish a stream in which to create their own dark current. Black Witchery’s sound on “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” is furious and focused. The instruments are so carefully connected to one another that the sound is an almost mechanical. And yet the songs are not driven so much by the frenetic riffs and blast beats but by Impurath’s maniacal vocal performance. These characteristics made Black Witchery’s sound distinctive, and in this way, the band’s purpose was immediately clear. Black Witchery was not out to emulate the bands by which they were influenced; instead, they embodied the very essence of the genre. As such, Black Witchery helped to usher in what may be convincingly characterized as the second wave of bestial black/death metal. Much like Conqueror and Revenge, Black Witchery established their own identity while simultaneously paying tribute to their predecessors. It should be recalled that, at the time “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” was released, the underground was not flooded with hundreds of second and third-rate bands playing so called “bestial black death” much as it is today. Indeed, Black Witchery sought to maintain a tradition that was waning amid the onslaught of “raw black metal” acts overrunning the scene at that time. Black Witchery represented a return to the strength and ferocity of form that was being forgotten in underground metal, and with “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom,” Black Witchery ushered in a new era of Satanic hatred. Over 15 years after its release, the import and power of Black Witchery’s debut LP has not subsided at all. In this new era, where metal genres and subgenres rise and fall in the duration of a single season, it’s important to approach the classic albums with appropriate reverence and to maintain the collective appreciation of the foundational albums. “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” undoubtedly is such an album. For that reason, NWN! and Black Witchery decided that it is once again time to resurrect this ancient entity. Additionally, with last year’s passing of Tragenda, Black Witchery’s guitarist at the time of this album, it is all the more important to make this album available once more to preserve his legacy.