See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Alchemist

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

These days, we've got plenty of hipster bastards regurgitating ideas from '70s rock, even though their youthful enthusiasm and $40 haircuts can't save their worthless bands from falling into a deep abyss of kitsch garbage. But every couple of years, a band comes along that can actually re-create the feel and power of real rawk. Witchcraft has been stepping back in time for seven years now, and The Alchemist is their third attempt at capturing the essence of both '70s rock and folk.

The fact that the Swedish band uses vintage recording equipment definitely gives their recorded sound a mist of nostalgia. But it's their ability to craft powerful songs that flow beautifully within the confines of the restrictions they've placed upon themselves that make the band a true contender. Witchcraft has developed a strong versatility during their years together. Songs that begin as strong hard rockers — drums pounding, guitars seething — frequently slow down, morphing into foggy acoustic melodies that lean more towards Love or Nick Drake than they do Black Sabbath.

All the while vocalist Magnus Pelander wails his heart out, as the band plays with strong feeling and vision. They never try to be anything more than the culmination of their influences. As such, they're not the beginning of a new era in rock. But they damn sure are a great band. And that's all any band really needs to be.

Editor's Note: This week, we're cleaning out the closets, so to speak, and reviewing a bunch of worthy releases that fell between the cracks in '07.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Kent Alexander

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit