Welcome to the first edition of NWOBHM WEDNESDAY. In our new column we are going to look at the history of the genre, review some of our favorite albums and look at the influence some of these bands would have on current acts. For our first article we are going to be taking a look at England's Witchfynde. The band was formed in 1974 in Derbyshire, England by bass player Richard Blower and vocalist Neil Harvey. Guitarist Montalo (Trevor Taylor) was discovered in a band called Atiofel and asked to join. While Richard would end up leaving in 1975 the band did carry on with a line up consisting of guitarist Montalo, bassist Andro Coulton, drummer Gra Scoresby and new vocalist Steve Bridges.The band released their first single, "Give 'em Hell" in 1979 followed the next year by the full length debut album which was also called Give 'em Hell. The band would end up touring the United Kingdom with Def Leppard and would release a second album in 1980 called Stagefright. Cloak and Dagger (1983) and Lords Of Sin (1984) followed with a different vocalist (Luther Beltz) before the band would call it a day. The band would end reforming in 2000 with yet again another vocalist and are still active. The band's sound is hard to really explain. At times they sound like hard rock while other times standard NWOBHM. But there are other times when you can hear progressive rock creeping in as well as doom and even what could best be described as creepy pop. Their overt satanic imagery and lyrics no doubt helped inspire a whole generation of black metal groups. And while they may never have been able to achieve the long term success that fellow NWOBHM acts like Saxon and Iron Maiden have enjoyed WitchFynde are a cult favorite to many. Personal favorite tracks of mine include "Give 'Em Hell", "I'd Rather Go Wild", "Leaving Nadir" and "Stagefright". You don't need to look any further than Youtube to find out for yourself what makes Witchfynde such a great listen. You can find just about any of their songs there. I'd suggest the ones I've mentioned as a good introduction to this personal cult favorite.
Metal Mark says-
Some NWOBHM bands were creating sounds that were defining the early 80's while others were pulling sounds from the 70's with them as they entered the new decade. Witchfynde falls in that second category. Not that they were stuck in the past, but there sound is definitely influenced by some 70's acts like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Budgie and others. They had a rather laid back feel to many of their songs, but frequently solos would burst out of the calm and let you know that this was a metal band to be reckoned with. Although they frequently showed a melodic side as well and weren't afraid to open up into an extended jam as well. I am listening to their eight minute plus song "Unto the ages of the ages" right now as I write this. Despite the somewhat Spinal Tap song title it's a good example of the band's love for a dramatic presentation. Some times they went a bit over the top, but mostly they stayed focused. They weren't afraid to take a chance or two and through a part in a song that might surprise you. Their skill and their knack for mixing in so many passages and different tones into a single song are what make them an important band in my mind. Plus their music holds up quite well thirty decades later.