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Witchfinder General are often considered pioneers in the doom metal field and this being their first album, makes it a particularly special collection of music. Formed in 1979 during the NWBHM movement, the band have an intriguing sound with vocal sounds heavily borrowed from Black Sabbath on some tracks whilst sounding more 60's rock on others with a distorted darker sound.
The damning dampened slow guitar riffs are combined with slow heavy drumming that sounds like a tired drum machine occasionally going mad. This album also seems to have more hippy element to it and tracks like Death Penalty even include a bit of acoustic guitar in, lyrics are usually rather dark with subject matter often being politically orientated or about death and being burnt on the stake.
Compared to today's doom metal though, the band is much more poppier with elements of contemporary music like punk and more catchy now more mainstream NWBHM music. The overall sound is awesome though and the track No Stayer is a good example of a track that makes lyrics that wouldn't be out of place in later hair metal sound like a late 60's pop/rock song and then whacks in some deep dark doom guitar for measure.
Originally receiving criticism due to it's album cover which as you can see features a nude model (Joanne Latham) in a graveyard in Enville, Staffordshire, the photo was done without the permission of the local reverend (probably a wise decision, if you ask me!), this album has now become a very important piece of music.
There is not a weak track on this album, it's full of gems which sound good today albeit dated and went on to influence no end of bands. To be honest, I prefer it to modern day doom.
1. "Invisible Hate" - 6:05
2. "Free Country" - 3:10
3. "Death Penalty" - 5:35
4. "No Stayer" - 4:25
5. "Witchfinder General" - 3:51
6. "Burning a Sinner" - 3:28
7. "R.I.P" - 4:04
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Invisible Hate
2 Free Country
3 Death Penalty
4 No Stayer
5 Witchfinder General
6 Burning A Sinner