Review: WitcheR — Boszork​á​nyszimf​ó​ni​á​k

Gather around for the Witches will perform their Symphonies.

Band: WitcheR
Album: Boszork​á​nyszimf​ó​ni​á​k (Witch Symphonies)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Hungary
Label: Filosofem Records
Released: May 8th 2024

Introduction

Did you read that album title and though, what the hell does that mean? Obviously, you are not alone because I had the same reaction. I actually had to translate it because my Hungarian isn’t that great (just read, not present at all). But it means witch symphonies, which does have a very nice ring too it.

But who is WitcheR? WitcheR is a Hungarian black metal band that plays the atmospheric subgenre. We’ve done a review of their last album, Lélekharang which I quite enjoyed. This time they released an EP with covers of famous classical orchestral arrangements. I like classical music, so let’s see what they brewed up this time.

A Symphony of Witches

The new EP comes with 7 tracks, all the tracks are covers of famous classical orchestral works minus the last song, which is a rework of a previous released WitcheR song called Summernight Melancholy.

Tracklist

  1. Hymn of the Cherubim: Op. 41, No. 6. (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky cover)
  2. Sarabande: Suite No. 4 in D Minor, HWV 437 (Georg Friedrich Händel cover)
  3. Åses død (The Death of Ase): Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, No. 2. (Edvard Grieg cover)
  4. Spring Waltz (Mariage d’Amour): (Frédéric Chopin cover)
  5. Three Shakespeare Songs: The Cloud-Capp’d Towers: No. 2 (Ralph Vaughan Williams cover)
  6. Carmina Burana: Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: 1. O Fortuna (Carl Orff cover)
  7. Summernight Melancholy

All the songs on the album are instrumental, so there isn’t really much to say about the vocal part of the album because well there aren’t any. But for example, the sixth track of the album is the O Fortuna score my Carl Orff, which almost everybody knows.

The Same goes for the Spring Waltz by Frédéric Chopin. So ill focus on those 2 songs to see how they sound and if WitcheR did them any justice. The overall production of the album is well done and also credits need to go to the great album artwork by Grafit & Hamu Artworks, it fits the theme of the album very well.

O Fortuna

So we start off with O Fortuna, which is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written in the early 13th century and part of a larger collection known as the Carmina Burana. It was transformed into a classical score by German composer Carl Orff in 1935-1936 as the opening and closing movement of his cantata also titled Carmina Burana.

This piece is very famous and, like previously mentioned, almost everybody knows it in one form or another. But a song that well known and transforming into a metal (black) version isn’t an easy task, especially doing it right. But this version is to my liking, it starts off very bombastic, and it demands your attention. The guitar work, below it, makes for a nice alternate version. They didn’t tinker too much on it (which is a good thing in this case) and just let the music work it’s magic.

Spring Waltz (Mariage d’Amour)

We start off with a fun fact, Chopin never wrote a spring waltz; thus this version does not belong to him. The correct name is Mariage d’Amour and composed by French pianist Paul de Senneville in 1987. Most of the versions you hear are either from Richard Clayderman or George Davidson (source: Jacobspiano.com)

But Chopin or not, it’s the original is beautiful, so I was excited about the version of WitcheR. And from the start of the song I liked it, and the mix of the different instruments are apparent to hear. It also gives me a feeling of melancholy, which I like.

The use of the guitars makes this version less subtle than the original version of the song, which isn’t a bad thing, but this song should be tender and that tenderness isn’t really around anymore.

Conclusion

WitcheR delivered a nice compilation of classical covers. It isn’t black metal per se (the band is, this album isn’t) but that’s okay, a change of spice once in a while won’t hurt you. If you are into atmospheric music or Classical music (or both) than give this album a try. It’s an enjoyable record to put on and just drift away in thoughts.

BMZ Rating 7 out of 10

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Support WitcheR here: https://witcherband.bandcamp.com/album/boszork-nyszimf-ni-k

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