What the hell has happened? Did some giant wormhole expose itself in the universe and swap us into a different dimension? Did Quicksilver convince Scarlet Witch to alter reality as we know it? Why the questions? Well, let’s just say something beyond human control must have happened when thrash titans Bewitched cooked up an average record like the painfully-mediocre Spiritual Warfare. Shocked? You should be!
Bewitched has been totally consistent with their wonderful discography; that is, until Spiritual Warfare was shown the light of day. Musically, Spiritual Warfare shows Bewitched cruising down the wrong path of flatness, or the lost of ideas that were once present, but are now gone. After years of dispelling hellish thrash, Bewitched have finally had a loss of ideas and created a record that fails to show any signs of progression from their previous CDs; it’s quite a disappointing listen.
Dissection of the various tracks presents an unexpected lack of riffs and musical coordination, meaning there’s one set of instrumentation per tune without changing. And it seems the whole thrash thing subsided a bit, because there are a lot of lame groove parts that sound really simple and boring. The vocals are certainly listenable albeit a bit annoying at times, but that’s really all one could expect after experiencing the music firsthand. Simply put, Spiritual Warfare is a mediocre effort that’s plagued by obvious boo-boos of all sorts. Not a good thing to hear when you’re expecting a psychotic thrash record, believe me.
Listening to Spiritual Warfare multiple times will reveal just two noteworthy hymns, which are ironically the first pair of compositions: “F*cked by Fire” and “Gracefallen.” Traces of harsh thrash riffing and hammering Black Sabbath-influenced chord progressions slide throughout the prime section of this CD with glimmering value formed by violent blasts of metal. These chiming bells of enjoyment are as lethal as cyanide and radiate classic vibes of Bewitched’s masterful thrash attack wonderfully. Sadly, everything else is generally boring and simply represents the timeless result of writing songs to fill up space without considering the substance within each track.
While it’s not a torturing listen, Spiritual Warfare suffers from a mass collection of dull material with only a handful of memorable anthems; an infection that’s never been in the body of this enjoyable band before. This flip-flop of a record is easily the worst release Bewitched has ever done, but it still isn’t as bad as most of the crap polluting the ears of fellow metalheads. Stick to the older material before diving into Spiritual Warfare.