Sweden's Witchcraft worships at the dark altar of old-school rockers like Black Sabbath. Muddy metal riffs and oblique lyrics about walls of sleep and tempered thoughts permeate its latest album, The Alchemist. Yet singer Magnus Pelander doesn't possess doom rock's usual demon-from-hell growl. In fact, his genial croon — which occasionally stumbles over English phrasings — gives the band a more relaxed vibe than the sludge-drenched music lets on (think '70s stoners Pentagram, with accents). But it all works in Witchcraft's favor. The Alchemist features a bong-worthy mix of heavy drums, heavier guitars, and some super-dense grooves.
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