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The Vision Bleak – Witching Hour

The Vision Bleak is one of the most interesting and underestimated bands in the metal scene. This time the indomitable duo Allen B. Konstanz and Ulf Theodor Schwadorf decides to venture in the realm of witchery horror story and, inevitably, Grimm’s fairytales as theme for the long awaited full-length “Witching Hour”.
“A Witch Is Born” is indisputably the catchiest song on the album. An overload of doomish guitar riffs blasting through an ominous rhythm will have an immediate strong impact even on first time listeners.
“The Blocksberg Rite” kicks off with a lovely eerie flute melody that continues to bring a touch of folk throughout the mid-paced guitar riffs. The chorus sounds like an evil mantra that certainly fits the haunting mood.
“Cannibal Witch” feels like a dark anthem with a slower gothic rhythmic tapestry. The vocals follow smoothly the persistently sinister atmosphere and the addition of spooky organs towards the end just makes everything more entertaining.
“The Wood Hag” incarnates the fairytale mood perfectly. If you close your eyes and follow the harpsichord melody you might risk getting lost in the Black Forest where the witch is obviously hiding.
A song like “The Call Of The Banshee” is totally expected on a witchery themed album. The guitar riffs and drumming are pressing and tight but the overall rhythmic core seems a little repetitive. Still, the solemn mysterious vocal delivery and the luminous arpeggios bring noteworthy moments.
Despite the obvious trendy spellbinding theme and the palpable intricate mist of darkness that defines the instrumental style, “Witching Hour” provides a generous dose of entertaining grooves and memorable melodies. At the same time, the whole album seems to aim to please many and sometimes lacks the genuine gothic masquerade appeal of cult albums such as “Carpathia- A Dramatic Poem”. Certainly, there are many individual songs full of tempting and haunting musical inspirations on “Witching Hour” that cannot (and must not) go unnoticed.

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