Witchfynde NWOBHM Doom Metal
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator June 5, 2016
The early eighties marked the end of the Traditional Wave of British Heavy Metal and the beginning of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The old metal scene was dominated by bands like Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest. Witchfynde emerged out of Derbyshire, England in 1974 and by 1980 transitioned into a NWOBHM band with a doom metal influence.
Their dark lyrically themed music and occult imagery inspired such 80s rock legends as Diamond Head, Saxon and The Tygers of Pan Tang. “Give Em Hell” is much more in line with the traditional doom metal than to other early 80s NWOBHM bands.
The band’s sound incorporated Black Sabbath doom metal with progressive almost hard rock. For fans of doom metal there are some Satanic undertones.
Witchfynder’s sound is more doom metal than black metal. The black metal label just comes from the Satanic references and the baphomet on the front cover of the album.
Production & Theme
The production is raw giving it a underground feel that adds to the overall evil themes and atmosphere. This record combines the sound of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy and would go on to inspire many NWOBHM acts such as: Saxon, Diamond Head, Tygers of Pan Tang and Tokyo Blade. This is a great example of melodic mid-paced New Wave British Heavy Metal.
The vocals of Steve Bridges are melodic and the guitars are inventive and heavy with a nice metal tone. I particularly am fond of these types of vocals that still existed in the early 80s rock music scene. Heavy metal lost me in the Nineties when the singers started whining like wimps or were so rough that it sounded like the singer gargled with acid and gravel.
In conclusion, “Give ‘Em Hell” is a killer package of NWOBHM Doom metal. This album played a pivotal role in the evolution of the traditional new wave of British Heavy Metal into the more punk inspired New Wave British Heavy Metal era. Even if you are not a huge fan of The Traditional Wave of British Heavy Metal, you owe it to yourself to give it a listen or two and see where your favorite black metal acts received a lot of their inspiration.