Bewitched - _Hell Comes to Essen_
(Osmose, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (3 out of 10)
I saw Bewitched on the tour on which this live document was recorded. As my review [CoC #28] indicated, I found Bewitched to be an impressive live band. Since that gig I got hold of their most recent _Pentagram Prayer_ album and, though a little too backward-looking for my liking, I found it a catchy and marginally worthy retro-thrash workout which utilises melody well. _Hell Comes to Essen_ combines ten tracks from their live concert in Essen in 1997 with the unreleased "Sabbath of Sin" (to be on their new album in a different version) and a cover of "Born to Be Wild" in a thrash style. Unfortunately, although Bewitched had impact when I saw them live, this live disc really has little musical attraction. The songs are different, this is Bewitched "entirely live" apparently, but most of what is different is worse. A lot of the skilled melodic manipulation, which is what makes the songs on _Pentagram Prayer_ worthy of note, is lost and replaced by thrash metal rage and drive. I am beginning to find the owning of live albums hard to justify in any case, and in this one I think point is lost. "Sabbath of Sin" is a decent, catchy and melodic thrash number, but it's far from special or massively different from Bewitched's other output, and only serves to show how weak the songs sound, performed live, on disc. The "Born to Be Wild" cover is, as always, no patch on the original and is the kind of thing which, ironically, would sound better pulled off as a surprise at the end of a live set. I can't find a reason to recommend this to anyone.

(article published 13/2/1999)


CHATS
12/12/2006 J Smit Bewitched: At Dawn He Sleeps
ALBUMS
12/12/2006 J Smit 8 Bewitched - Spiritual Warfare
7/3/2002 Q Kalis 7.5 Bewitched - Rise of the Antichrist
12/9/1999 P Schwarz 6 Bewitched - At the Gates of Hell
6/9/1996 S Hoeltzel 5 Bewitched - Diabolical Desecration
GIGS
2/5/1997 P Schwarz Dark Tranquillity / Enslaved / Bewitched / Swordmaster / Demoniac / Dellamorte We Must Dominate, We Will Dominate
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