Witchfinder General:- Death Penalty

Release:- 1982
Band Members:- Zeeb Parks, Phil Cope, Graham Ditchfield, Woolfy Trope,
Krillion's Rating:- 75%


The cult 'NWOBHM' group's first release, and here we feature them sounding as much like early 'Black Sabbath' as possible, their doom laden lyrics and plodding grind, brings back memories of 'Paranoid', 'Vol. 4 and 'Masters of Reality'. Unfortunately they don't really do anything that hasn't been done before and although they should be praised for executing the 'Sabbath' sound respectably well, the songs aren't as catchy at their predecessors. Vocally 'Zeeb Parkes' is limited in range and combining that with a murky production, the album struggles to get past novelty status.

The doom heavy 'Invisible Hate' set us off on a unwavering voyage of gloomy, dark Metal, unfortunately here, a fair track is let down by a very uninspired ending, where lyrically they hit rock-bottom. 'Free Country' picks up with a menacing churning rhythm, that smoothes out for a more acoustic outro. The title tracks is my pick of the disc, faster paced, more punky and less bleak, features some nice riff work and better vocals. The intro for 'No Stayer' highlights a quirky bass line, and some sound guitaring, 'Tony Iommi' would be proud, the main song is a let down however, it trudges along with shoddy vocal work. 'Witchfinder General' is a nasty, riff filled, head-banger, lyrically predictable but a solid rocker while 'Burning a Sinner' is an unmelodious plodder. The album closes with R.I.P. a bass heavy groover, that wouldn't look out of place on 'Black Sabbath's' first release.

Fans of 'NWOBHM' and early 'Sabbath' should like this offering, also 'Doom Metal' die-hards might like to listen to a group that were very influential in their genre.


Track Listing:- Invisible Hate, Free Country, Death Penalty, No Stayer, Witchfinder General, Burning a Sinner, R.I.P.,