Witchery Witchkrieg

It's been a few years' wait since Sweden's Witchery last delivered, but Witchkrieg makes it pretty clear they haven't been wasting time. Short, but more powerful for its refusal to drag on, Witchkrieg is a galloping beast of a record, full of the expected blackened, death-y thrash and a characteristic preoccupation with the horrific. Witchery boasts a bit of an all-star line-up on its own, now compounded by the addition of Legion (ex-Marduk) on vocals. Witchkrieg features a few (in)famous guests as well (Slayer's Kerry King among them), though it's not the metal celeb cameos, but the raunchy momentum that makes the record. Midway through, anthem "Dead to Worse" is both climax and summation, capturing the B-movie menace of the whole in one short track. And before it's really had time to sink in, the record motors down, like an attack that's over before you even realize you've been hit. (Century Media)