Friday, March 4, 2011

Witchburner - Arrival of the Last Storm/Dead City EP (2003)

While I wasn't entirely impressed with the Germans' previous EP, German Thrashing War, that at least contained a fair amount of material for the Witchburner devotee to digest. The following year, they'd release a super limited edition 7" that is honestly nothing more than a collector's item for those who wanna splurge a few bucks on a nice black/white cover image and flash their exotic and rare finds in front of other collectors. There is one redundant original track here, also having appeared on the last release, "Arrival of the Last Storm", which is solid sounding but ultimately average speed/thrash metal with the prototypical blackened rasp vocal style, and then a cover of Violent Force's "Dead City".

That particular track doesn't do a lot for me, but it's one of the then-defunct German thrashers most popular, having appeared as the title track for numerous demos throughout the mid-80s and then landed it's slot as the opener for their full-length Malevolent Assault of Tomorrow. It's a basic piece with repeated riffing and a half-assed, wild lead, pretty similar to a lot of the fare you'd hear from Tankard's Zombie Attack debut. The Witchburner rendition follows closely to the original, with the obvious better production that one would expect from 16 years of technological advancement in sound recording, but it doesn't suddenly become a better listen. The best thing, in fact, about this release is the cover art, which might have served the band better adorning a full-length, but despite its nostalgic violence, there's just nothing more to say. If you collect rare vinyl from retrospective thrash bands, then you are the only market for this, otherwise, don't even think twice. The Violent Force homage might be pretty cult for its time, I'd be less surprised by underground bands going back and covering it today, but it's not very good and doesn't warrant attention.

Verdict: Epic Fail [1.25/10]

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