String-Satan Kerry King was ready and willing when WITCHERY asked him to contribute an ultra-brutal guitar solo. The fretboard wizadry of the „King Of Thrash“ crowns „Witchkrieg“, opener and title-song of the brandnew album by allstar-quintett WITCHERY. Guitarplayer Jensen had met Kerry 1999 on the first US-tour of his band in Los Angeles after WITCHERY´s show at the Whiskey A Go Go. „He came on our bus and we partied. At 6´o clock in the morning we were the only ones still awake. We played air guitar while listening to old Rainbow records“, (Patrick) Jensen remembers. „At the Roskilde festival in Denmark I bumped into him again. I played him the song, he listened to it three times straight and said: ,Yeah, I do it.‘“
The fifth album of the Scandinavians is the first with new singer Legion (ex-MARDUK, DEVIAN). „He lives close to our hometown Linköping. We wanted someone with experience. He only needed two days for the vocals of the whole record, he was a good choice!“ All the wizards of WITCHERY have other bands, Jensen plays with THE HAUNTED; solo-guitarist Rickard Rimfält rocks for Séance; bassplayer Sharlee D´Angelo is in charge of the deep end of ARCH ENEMY and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS; while drummer Martin Axe hits the skins of OPETH and BLOODBATH.
WITCHERY were born in 1997 after Jensen, Rimfält and Axe had left Satanic Slaughter. One year 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 they paid homage to their idols. They covered songs by WASP, JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, BLACK SABBATH and added three tracks of their own. The same year they launched „Dead, Hot And Ready“, naturally tens of thousands of fans banged their heads at Wacken Open Air ´99 to their Heavy-meets-Thrash-mix. One year later the Metal-allstars toured with KREATOR and MOONSPELL. „Symphony For The Devil“ (2001) was their next opus, once again they combined precision, force and melody. The connection of severe Thrash and melodic Heavy Metal provoked the success of „Don´t Fear The Reaper“ (2006). Even if they didn´t play the Blue Öyster Cult hit, with the choice of the album title the Scandos paid tribute to the US-Hard-Rock-Institution. Instead they played „Immortal Death“, a song from their old band SATANIC SLAUGHTER, whose founder Ztephan „Dark“ Karlsson had tragically died the same year.
2010 now sees „Witchkrieg“, where WITCHERY greet a number of illustrous guests, among them Hank Sherman (MERCYFUL FATE, FORCE OF EVIL), who was guesting on three former discs by WITCHERY. „He is a good friend and will play with us on the next record and the next one after that“, reckons a smiling Jensen. Furthermore Gary Holt and Lee Altus (EXODUS), Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND) and Jim Durkin (DARK ANGEL) are playing on the „Witchkrieg“ album.
As far as the style of music is concerned, WITCHERY go for the classic bands, the choice of their guests speaks volumes. The fivesome mixes elements from Death-, Black- and Heavy Metal. „We want to get people to drink beer and party without sounding like AC/DC“, Jensen points out. In their lyrics subsequently creatures show up, which are known from 80s horror movies. Death and the devil are as important as werewolves, witchhunters and hellhounds. Jensen sums it up: „We play party music without singing about whiskey and women.“
vocals: Legion (ex-Marduk, Devian)
guitars: Jensen (The Haunted)
guitars: Rickard Rimfält (Séance)
bass: Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy)
drums: Martin Axe (Opeth, Bloodbath)