Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Witchfinder General- Death Penalty

Even the most casual NWOBHM collector knows that this is one of the Unholiest of the NWOBHM Grails. Back in my mid-teens, amid my piles of Diamond Head, Angelwitch, and Iron Maiden tapes, I’d heard tales of this album with its ultra-violent artwork and skullcrushing metal music. Back in those days, however, collecting records was much harder, and if you wanted the original album with artwork, you pretty much needed an extensive network of overseas connections.

However, now in the days of ebay, filesharing, and digital online storage, you can find almost anything you want, usually for free. Kids today have it so easy compared to MY generation!

I eventually ended up getting my clear-vinyl copy off ebay, and truly, the infamous cover art turned out to surpass the hype. And I’m not even talking about cover model Joanne Latham’s sweet, sweet melons (see more of them at; rather, the band taking the trouble to dress up in 17th Century garb is a classic metal moment too ridiculous for even Spinal Tap to parody. Is that a crossbow the drummer’s holding?

All kidding aside, the music on this album is some of the best NWOBHM you’ll ever hear. Songs like “Invisible Hate” and “Death Penalty” are quite simply the heaviest examples of rock music since Black Sabbath’s “Vol. 4” album. Witchfinder General would later release their follow-up album, “Friends of Hell” (featuring equally offensive cover art), as well as the crushing “Soviet Invasion” EP. After this, they apparently fell off the face of the earth, going the way of such NWOBHM contemporaries as Cloven Hoof and Blitzkrieg.

Tie Her to The Stake:


Knoxx said...

Oh wow! You have saved me from ripping my vinyl! Thx a lot! A classic!!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Thanks mate! Classic album. So everyone knows this is a vinyl rip with the usual pops and clicks, not a CD rip. The pops and clicks are kinda a nice addition; makes it seem like it was 1982 again. :)

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