Thomas “Hand” Chaste is the mastermind behind a new Italian doom metal band called Witchfield. Witchfield recorded and released a debut called Sleepless in 2009 on the Italian label Black Widow Records. The lineup for this album is Thomas “Hand” Chaste (drums & keyboards), John Goldfinch (Vocals), Andy Cardellino (guitars), Ilario “Piranha” Supressa (guitars) and Baka Bomb (bass) with special guests Clive Jones (woodwinds on “Void In The Life“ & “Inquisitor“), and Steve Sylvester (vocals on “Black Widow“).
Thomas was in another band called Death SS, which reads as an important Italian doom metal band. Witchfield is next evolution in Thomas’ s musicianship and composing skills. From the beginning you are reminded of two great bands, Black Sabbath and Goblin. The doom metal (Black Sabbath) influence is the dominant style and the Goblin reference is heard in the keyboards, which are expertly handled by Thomas.
While I enjoy this type of music, I feel that the Black Widow label is mass producing similar bands. It would be nice to steer away and head into something more progressive or experimental, This is just my opinion. Other than that I find the entire Sleepless album to be very enjoyable. It’s also one of those albums that should be played loud at night, wearing headphones to fully engulf yourself in the atmospheres of the album.
Some of my favorite songs or highlights of the album is their amazing take on the 1975 Alice Cooper song “Black Widow” and “The Mask Of The Demon” and “Imagination Vortex”. The opening (Intro) & closing (Finale) orchestral piece “The Burial Of Count Orgaz” recalls something Goblin would do.
If you’re a fan of the doom metal scene, especially the aforementioned bands, then Witchfield’s Sleepless is a must have album for you. Also it can be pleasing to those that are into the classic Italian keyboard-driven progressive rock bands. In my opinion, it’s somewhere in between doom metal and progressive rock. While it’s not really a masterpiece, it’s a rather fun listen when I need that itch scratched.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on November 8th, 2009