Kerry King (SLAYER), Hank Shermann (MERCYFUL FATE, FORCE OF EVIL, DEMONICA), Andy La Rocque (KING DIAMOND) and Jim Durkin (DARK ANGEL) have recorded guest appearances on "Witchkrieg", the forthcoming album from Swedish metallers WITCHERY.
WITCHERY's lineup reads like the who's-who of Swedish metal: Guitarist Jensen plays with THE HAUNTED; lead axeman Rickard Rimfält rocks for SÉANCE; bass player Sharlee D’Angelo is in charge of the low end in ARCH ENEMY and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS; while drummer Martin "Axe" Axenrot pounds the skins for OPETH and BLOODBATH.
"Witchkrieg" marks the recording debut of new WITCHERY vocalist Legion (ex-MARDUK, DEVIAN).
The fretboard wizardry of Kerry King crowns "Witchkrieg", the opener and title track of the forthcoming WITCHERY CD.
Jensen met Kerry in 1999 on the first WITCHERY U.S. tour in Los Angeles after a show at the Whiskey A Go Go. "He came on our bus and we partied," Jensen remembers. "At 6 o'clock in the morning we were the only ones still awake. We played air guitar while listening to old RAINBOW records. At the Roskilde Festival in Denmark I bumped into him again. I played him the song, he listened to it three times straight and said, 'Yeah, I'll do it.'"
Shermann is no stranger to the WITCHERY clan, having appeared on the band's three previous discs. "He is a good friend and will play with us on the next and the next one after that," says a smiling Jensen.
La Rocque stated about his contribution to "Witchkrieg": "It's always cool to put down a solo on a good song and something that is good-sounding, I think I was in the right mood at the time also, which made it sounding melodic and crying."
As a first appetizer of the unholy axis of musical terror, go to WITCHERY's newly designed MySpace page and check out "The Reaver", featuring guest guitar solos by Gary Holt and Lee Altus of the mighty EXODUS.
Holt: "While in Europe touring for 'The Atrocity Exhibition', our good friends in WITCHERY (as well as a couple of other bands you may have heard of!) kidnapped Lee and I for a little guitar solo madness, which we were more than happy to provide! We had a blast, shredded some solos, went to our gig and proceeded to get wrecked, which included a bit of artistic sharpie work on the engineer! Good times!"
Durkin had the following to say about contributing a guest solo to "Witchkrieg": "Jensen and the WITCHERY guys have been dear friends of mine for many years... Plus I truly love the band's music! So when they asked me for a solo I jumped at the chance to blaze one out for them! I'm honored to be included on this list of such great players that were invited to play on the album!"
"Witchkrieg" will be released on June 21 in Europe and June 29 in North America via Century Media Records.
Commented Jensen: "So it's finally, finally, FINALLY time for a new WITCHERY album! And not just any ol' new album, no sir. This is quite possibly the best WITCHERY album to date. Let me correct myself. This IS the best WITCHERY album to date.
"I know a lot of bands claim their current releases to be 'their best work' and everyone knows that's a load of bullshit. However, in our case, I can say its 100% true. If you don't believe me, then check out the album. You will notice how your flapping jaws slowly close, how you crank the volume and how you forget about your miserable life for while!
"On a sadder note, due to conflicting schedules, we have had to part ways with founding member Toxine. We wish our brother in metal all the best in the future. Therefore, I would like to introduce to the world, a new unholy axis of musical terror. We wish to welcome a new fulltime member to the WITCHERY coven; none other than: Legion!!!"
"Witchkrieg" was mixed and mastered Antfarm studios by Tue Madsen (DARK TRANQUILLITY, THE HAUNTED, HEAVEN SHALL BURN). The cover artwork, which can be viewed below, was created by Andreas "Diaz" Pettersson.
WITCHERY's spell was cast upon our earthly existence when four members splintered off SATANIC SLAUGHTER in 1997: Jensen (later with THE HAUNTED), Richard Corpse, Toxine and Mique. Before recording their debut album, "Restless and Dead", Jensen met Sharlee D'Angelo (also of ARCH ENEMY and MERCYFUL FATE fame, among others) and got him on board for the unholy alliance. Subsequently the band released the "Witchburner" mini-album (featuring cover songs by JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, W.A.S.P. and ACCEPT), their second album "Dead, Hot And Ready" and was busy touring the U.S. and Europe. The 2001 CD "Symphony for the Devil" was their first album staring drummer Martin Axenrot (also in BLOODBATH, and on tour with OPETH). After touring the U.S. with THE HAUNTED, WITCHERY fell into hibernation for some time, but finally recorded their last CD, "Don't Fear the Reaper" (2006) at Berno Studios in fall 2004. The album was mixed by Tue Madsen at his Antfarm Studios (THE HAUNTED, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, MNEMIC) and included a cover version of the SATANIC SLAUGHTER classic "Immortal Death".