Witchcraft of Domination is the debut release from Catalonian black metallers Mørknatt. A four track preview of their forthcoming Victorious Satan album, this EP is a sub 20 minute torrent of blasphemous black metal. There are no surprises here, but what the band may lack in originality they make up in quality.
It will probably only take thirty seconds of opener “Calanda of Antichrist” for your average black metal fan to feel right at home. All the key ingredients are present throughout; the fiery tremolo picked riffs, the relentless hyper speed drumming and the demonic shrieks and screams (and occasional death growl). The five minutes fly by as you are bludgeoned by a succession of vicious riffs, guided by the shifting tempos of Kunstdood’s drum skin battery. These variations in pace keep things interesting and stop the song getting bogged down by repetitiveness. This is pretty much the story for the rest of the EP, although “Satanic Sex” does focus primarily on slowing things down a touch and features a particularly potent chorus section. Some of the musical transitions can be a little sloppy, but for the most part the arrangements are tight.
The material on offer benefits greatly from a clear and concise production job. That’s not to say it’s polished, but you won’t have a problem making out the many memorable riffs at hand. It’s far too easy in extreme metal to ruin great songs with a poor mix, especially when one instrument (usually the drums) is so prominent to the point it’s overbearing. Thankfully, this is not the case here, with the equal billing of both drums and guitars highlighting how well they lock in with each other. The only minor gripe is that there is very little bass presence in the mix.
Whether you enjoy this or not will likely depend on your expectations going in. Mørknatt are not blazing any trails with this release, but their passion and vigour makes up for any shortfalls in the innovation stakes. All in all, this EP serves as an effective taster to whet the appetite for their forthcoming full length.
Highlights: “Calanda of Antichrist”