Who does know this band? I almost have the feeling nobody, so I'll try to tell you a little about them. BEWITCHED are Swedish and try to inspire fear with their pseudonyms "Vargher" (vocals & guitars), "Blackheim" (vocals), "Wratyr" (bass) and "Reaper" (drums). Musically they do good old Thrash Metal in the style of DESTRUCTION, SODOM or KREATOR, but the special thing about BEWITCHED is that they don't just pull through their Thrash-thing, but loosen it up with raunchy Rock'n'Roll-parts. "Pentagram Prayer", apart from a few demos, has been the first release of the band.
The first song "Blood On The Altar" is like a hammer straight to your head and shows the direction immediately. A raging riff makes every head in listening range bang. After that we have the a bit more variable, because with tempo-changes, "Hallways To Hell", which surprises with an interesting bass-line towards the end. Who listens closely can discern that the first song is sung by Vargher, while Blackheim does the second one (OK, the booklet also says that). In the course of the CD there are some songs, in which they share the vocal-performance (e.g. on "Demondawn" or "Satan´s Claw"), which provides us with an even more furious and hefty atmosphere. With "Night Of The Sinner" the first song with the already mentioned slight Rock'n'Roll-touch is coming our way. It is pure thunder in the beginning, just to change into a Rock-riff in the chorus. Sounds good to me. My personal highlight of the album is "Sacrifice To Satan", which starts out very fast, just to end with a bluesy (!) guitar-part. This variability is great. All other songs are very good as well, and very catchy, too. Real stuff for headbangers and the next Metal-party.
Only the closing track "Pentagram Prayer", which indeed does sound like one, gets to my nerves. I have to add that the lyrics of BEWITCHED all are very (pseudo-)Satanist and should not really be taken seriously. The band musically as well as lyrically just tries to follow in the path of the above-mentioned Thrash-heroes. So one or two guitar-riffs might be a little reminiscent of DESTRUCTION and co. But still the band is original in its own way (mostly because of the Rock'n'Roll-parts). The only small point of criticism is the sound, which could have been a bit more powerful and crunchy, but that, too, is Eighties-like. Yet on the other hand it might also be due to the fact that the band has only one guitarist, but who cares, the music is the most important thing and the sound isn't that bad anyway.
So together with INFERNÖ and SWORDMASTER I think that BEWITCHED is one of the best Eighties-retro-bands. They revive the spirit of the Eighties and trigger some memories in some of you. The songs all are very catchy and are perfect to sing and party along. So who likes any of the above-mentioned bands or fast and rough Thrash Metal in general should check out BEWITCHED. All other Metalheads, who are open for new things (or in this case old things) should also risk an ear. And don't let you be put off by the lyrics (they are so evil that it's almost funny), because I think that the band doesn't take itself seriously as well...
Checkout-tips: "Blood On The Altar", "Sacrifice To Satan"