ALBUM REVIEW: Witch Ripper – The Flight After the Fall


Thunderous. Anticipatory. Windswept. A Bugatti Veyron driving at top speed through the Uyuni Salt Flats. Batman. Witch Ripper’s The Flight After the Fall (Magnetic Eye Records) is all of this and more.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Kal-El – Dark Majesty

It’s fair to say that Kal-El’s fifth full-length is easily their most elaborate outing yet. The Norwegian quartet’s previous efforts have presented their brand of Stoner Metal with an increasingly spacy edge that seemed to peak with 2019’s Witches Of Mars. However, Dark Majesty (Majestic Mountain Records) sees the last signs of restraint fade into the ether; its eight tracks reach sprawling eight to ten-minute lengths that culminate to an hour-long experience, far eclipsing the runtime of albums past.

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Kadavar – Abra Kadavar (Special Edition)

Kadavar - Abra Kadavar - Special Edition


Berlin’s most bearded gents Kadavar have brought their fuzzed up seventies sounds to the attention of many with their thrift store chic and retro sensibilities being en vogue right now due to the appearance of acts like labelmates Witchcraft and Graveyard. Gaining momentum having been recruited to the Nuclear Blast roster after their debut on Tee Pee Records, these German rockers keep it traditional and no less live sounding than the first time around.


Clearly the synergy between the band members is a very natural one as evidenced by their to-the-bone approach, favouring fuzz and a Led Zep swagger mixed with the gutter blues. That and a slight Krautrock influence is what sets them apart from the legion of retro acts right now. Neither as metal orientated as the former nor blues as the latter, Kadavar occupy a comfortable middle ground, but that is not to say that Abra Kadavar (Nuclear Blast) does not possess its own potency and indeed magic.


Beginning with the raunchy one two of ‘Come Back Life’ and ‘Doomsday Machine’ the magic carpet ride begins with some groovy riffs and plenty of soul. Bubbling bass and fluid guitars inject a passion into the likes of ‘Fire’. Sure the band has a formula from which they seldom deviate yet the crisp sound of Abra Kadavar puts it a cut above the stuffy musty old Blue Cheer obsessives who feel that aping the work of the seventies masters is sufficient reason for their existence.


There may be little deviation in texture or tone but the synth-embellished title track hints on where the next album could go. The up tempo rocker of ‘Dust’ is the height of their achievements thus far. Hanging on a soaring chorus backed with a humdinger of a riff, Christoph Lindemann also gives a great performance at the mic. Kadavar may not differ radically from their peers but that is neither here nor there. The impact of three musicians gelling to create that intangible magic which only happens when artists seek to create something invigorating and close to their hearts rather than searching blindly for that elusive spark of originality.


7 / 10

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