Witchery’s line-up reads like the who’s who of Swedish Metal: Jensen (guitars) plays with The Haunted; solo-guitarist Rickard Rimfält for Séance; bass player Sharlee D’Angelo is in charge of the deep end of Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars; while drummer Martin Axe hits the skins of Opeth and Bloodbath. The upcoming album Witchkrieg, set for a June 29th North American release, features the debut of new vocalist Legion (ex-Marduk, ex-Devian) and an army of the best metal guitarists. The fretboard wizardry of Kerry King (Slayer) crowns “Witchkrieg,” the opener and title track.
Guitar player Jensen had met Kerry in 1999 on the first U.S. tour of his band in Los Angeles after the WITCHERY show at The Whiskey. “He came on our bus and we partied all night long. We played air guitar while listening to old Rainbow records,” Jensen remembers. “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.’
Hank Sherman (Mercyful Fate, Force Of Evil) was already guesting on three former discs by Witchery. “He is a good friend and will play with us on the next and the next one after that,” reckons a smiling Jensen. Also on board is Andy La Rocque (King Diamond): “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.”
The new track “The Reaver” can be heard now at www.myspace.com/witcherytheband
and features Gary Holt and Lee Altus of Exodus. Gary 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!”
Last but not least Jim Durkin of Dark Angel fame also contributed a guest solo. “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 honoured to be included on this list of such great players that were invited to play on the album!” said Jim Durkin who’s responsible for immortal Dark Angel 1986 classic “Darkness Descends” that is still hailed as one of the fastest Thrash albums.