|Witchcraft mastermind, Magnus Pelander has been an active member of the Swedish Doom scene for some time now despite his youthful age, and initially started the band as a tribute to former 13th Floor Elevators legend Roky Erickson and vintage Doom rocker Bobby Liebling of cult legends Pentagram.
In 2002 Witchcraft (essentially Magnus aided by friends from the local music scene in Örebro) released a limited 7" pressing of the insistent Sabbath meets Stones strut of "No Angel or Demon" on the Swedish underground label Primitive Art. Rise Above Records were so amazed by what they heard that they signed the band immediately on the strength of this slab of wax alone and even begged for the song's inclusion, in it's original form, on the bands debut album.
In early 2003 the band, now completed by Jonas Arnesén - Drums, John Hoyles - Guitar & Ola Henriksson - Bass (the later two also having appeared on the 7" release), began assembling vintage 60's & 70's recording equipment in a basement and started work, with producer Jens Henriksson, on their debut album.
That album, 'Witchcraft', is a record which conjures up the macabre essence of vintage Pentagram and, of course Black Sabbath whilst incorporating influences as wide apart as the Jethro Tullesque folky prog of "Her Sisters They Were Weak", and the bludgen riffing style of early 70's Bang in "I Want You to Know". Elsewhere, "Schyssta Lögner" evokes memories of Sweden's original hard rocking progsters Novembre and the inclusion of the cover "Please Don't Forget Me" from Bobby Leibling's 1970 pre-Pentagram outfit Stone Bunny pays further homage to his criminally overlooked genius.
While many of their, more generic, contemporaries are more conservative in their approach, Witchcraft are a band that can swing effortlessly from orthodox doom to blues, folk and jazz whilst always remaining shrouded in the cloak of influence from some of the more obscure moments of the 70's cult rock underground. Yet somehow, despite not adhering to any blueprint, the Witchcraft sound is purer then any other act in the doom scene today.