Witchcraft are back with their followup to “Legend” and it’s a very interesting album called “Nucleus.” “Legend” was one of my favorite albums of 2012. For that album, only bandleader Magnus Pelander and bassist Ola Henriksson remained from the previous album “The Alchemist.” Perhaps because of this, “Legend” had a harder edge and bigger riffs. Would “Nucleus” carry on with that direction?
The answer is not really. While “Nucleus” has some of the big riffs and hooks that “Legend” has, it also is far more psychedelic which harkens back to the bands older material. Honestly, if Witchcraft had released “Nucleus” prior to “Legend,” “Legend” might have been less jarring for fans.
“Nucleus” is also far more prog than anything that Witchcraft has previously done. The massive, incredible title track and very odd closing track “Breakdown” are both quite long and show that Pelander is keen to experiment and get his prog on. The only truly short song is “Theory of Consequences” which shows that Witchcraft is willing to pay homage to Sabbath as much as their countrymen Kadavar and Graveyard always do.
The sound on “Nucleus” is dirtier and fuzzier than “Legend” which really works since it’s clearly what the songs require to set the proper mood. Witchcraft aren’t afraid to show their 70s roots as evident not only by their Sabbath-like moments but they also manage to fuse Jethro Tull and Wishbone Ash on “The Outcast.” And it totally works too.
Maybe “Nucleus” doesn’t change the world but it does show that Witchcraft are not willing to just release the same album over and over. “Nucleus” succeeds because Pelander allows his music to lead the way and the band deliver a very powerful performance.
2. Theory Of Consequence
3. The Outcast
5. An Exorcism Of Doubts
6. The Obsessed
7. To Transcend Bitterness
Label: Nuclear Blast