Metal Dream – Witchunter
Art: Paolo Girardi
Bio: Founded in 2007, Italy’s Witchunter began as the manifestation of true heavy metal obsession. Foremost among those metallic obsessions were the NWOBHM, ’80s European heavy metal and speed metal, and especially 70s hard rock sounds and attitude. It all coalesced into a paradoxically refreshing time-warp where traditional metal in the vein of Angel Witch, Jaguar, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Saxon get the subtlest of twists, not to mention some evil mixing in a manner most Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath. A true purist’s band, then, but not one that’s just lazy pastiche: Witchunter are the real deal, from the beginning to now! And now, long years after their last LP, Witchunter return hungrier than ever! Metal Dream (released by the label Dying Victims Productions) is the name of that long-awaited comeback and a more simple-yet-sublime title you will not find. Gleaming with a chrome-encased production that’s pure 80s valour, Witchunter’s latest spans all the band’s previous styles, dramatic speed metal overdrive, leather-and-chains strut, balls-to-the-wall headbangers but the pure passion and charisma in which they deliver these nine primary tracks, the seamless expression of heavy metal in all its glories, makes Metal Dream astounding to behold.
The lyrics of ‘Metal Dream’ align with the approach we have also had on past records. These aren’t about social issues or anything like that; we do not like to discuss these topics in Witchunter’s Album. The songs deal with Metal cliché, dark thematic related to the Devil, Demons and Horror in general, everyday life, vices, paranoia and how beautiful “sin” can be. Still, passions and deep emotions are fueled with the right dose of anger and determination that distinguishes us.
Most of the work related to the album’s writing is in our rehearsal room. Our coven, our temple, where among high volumes, metal legend posters, alcohol, blasphemies, madly situations, we can exorcise everyday life. Our albums rise from here and from our deep friendship, between fun, hard work and many hours spent together. In reality, we do not have pre-established rituals or routines. We let ourselves be carried away by instinct and emotions, often overlooking rationality and pre-set reasoning.
It may seem trivial, but our true and constant obsession is metal. Metal lived as an addiction and a constant dream to live with open eyes. We are bound by the law of sex, alcohol, and metal (and some drugs). We like to talk about dark thematics and the Devil (themes for us inextricably chained to Heavy Metal), truly living like assholes who want to mess up and go crazy.
Each of us has his own story, but we all discovered metal when we were teenagers—love at first sight, which has undoubtedly influenced our life forever. Personally, Kiss represented something shocking. The approach on stage, the idea of Rock n Roll, and the search for the extreme have made them my point of reference and my favourite “Superheroes”. Many of us had our first experiences with the Hard Rock Legends of the 70s. Bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath have deeply influenced our minds, till the essence of heavy metal represented by gods like Judas Priest, Saxon, Iron Maiden and Motörhead (the supreme law). From there, the discovery of more extreme fields, from Thrash Metal onwards, bands like Venom have played a fundamental role in our musical growth due to their approach. Probably one of the most significant steps for us was the discovery of the NWOBHM and, more generally, of the underground with which we live in symbiosis. We are metalheads who play for metalheads, fans of bands we share the stage with, and metal maniacs forever.
We live in a natural way, the drafting and arrangement of our songs, obviously having fun between alcohol and bullshit, but also a lot of concentration. Each of us has different figures outside of metal that have potentially inspired us. Thinking about personalities from the past, however, we are very linked to the Blues and its origins. Even today, there are great bluesmen worthy of note. We could also mention characters outside of music who have inspired us, such as writers like H. P. Lovecraft or J. R. R. Tolkien.
Music is the most important thing in our life, our world. It’s the fuel that makes us face every difficulty, metal lived as a daydream that allows us to exorcise the most boring aspects of life. A mystical experience to be lived at 360 degrees that we try to convey from the stage. Forever in metal.
I don’t know; as mentioned, we love the blues. Another area that we appreciate is the Italian Progressive Rock of the 70s. I would recommend Osanna, Museo Rosenbach, Biglietto Per L’Inferno, Rovescio Della Medaglia, Balletto Di Bronzo, and Scolopendra, to name a few.