- 2.Hamvak - Ashes07:44
- 3.Lélekharang - Soul Bell10:16
- 4.Csendesen - Peacefully06:58
- 5.Hazatérés - Homecoming09:20
- 6.Moonlight Sonata Op. 27. No. 2. I. Adagio sostenuto (Beethoven)03:24
I am really glad that the duo from Hungary, three years after their previous album, are back and stronger than ever. I refer to Karola and Roland of Witcher as continuing their journey into the amazing world of the Witcher, adding a new chapter with their third full length album. Its name is Lélekharang and it was released by Filosofem Records in cd, digital and limited to 100 copies cassette format and by Beverina Productions in limited to 200 copies vinyl format, on the 8th of October of 2022. The album contains six tracks, one intro, four new Witcher tracks and a metal presentation of Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, with overall duration of about forty minutes. When I received the cd, regarding the layout, the coloring and the style of the photos of the band, I noticed that they kept the same approach as their previous ones. The cover shows a scene relevant to the narrated story and the color is a palette of brown creating that nostalgic – romantic feeling. In short, nothing has changed optically.
The music part, though, is another story. I don’t say that they have changed their style. They still play atmospheric, melodic Black Metal in the vein of Summoning, but I believe that in this one there is something different. Musically, they have given more space to the guitars and their contribution is almost 50 – 50 with the keyboards. The riffs are melodic and dark, mainly of medium or slow speed, along with the majestic and atmospheric keyboards, they create a very intense and live scenery, making the listener experience the story. As always the lyrics are written in Hungarian but they have included their English translation in the booklet, so this allows you to follow the story more easily. The duration of the songs is between seven and ten minutes but although this seems quite long, it is not. The beautiful melodies, the intense feelings and the vivid images that they create, as well as the structure of the songs, make the album very interesting.
As always in Witcher’s releases, both Karola and Roland have done a great job in delivering their parts. Karola’s lines are so ethereal, majestic and atmospheric but also emotional and beautiful, delivered with accuracy and much passion. Roland is responsible for everything else, and has managed to deliver the guitar lines exceptionally but also he has done a really nice job for the programming of the drums too. I couldn’t listen to the bass so i can’t say anything about that. The production is a little warmer and quite more bassy than their previous works, while the mixture has achieved a more balanced result between all the instruments and the vocals. The keyboard is still the ruling instrument but in this release, the vocals, the guitars and the drums are not in the background anymore and they all play an important role in the compositions.
A very hard process for every artist is to identify his weaknesses and try to work in order to improve them. Gladly, I see that this is a continuous process for Witcher and they manage to evolve and improve themselves in every new release and establish their own unique character. My favorite songs are Csendesen – Peacefully and Hazatérés – Homecoming. If you are a veteran fan of Witcher, don’t even think about it, just get this album. The rest, if you are fond of atmospheric, majestic Black Metal, you too should get this one.