Review by Greg on December 5, 2023.
Keeping in line with decidedly un-Scandinavian killer crossover thrash from, well, Scandinavia, Lowest Creature from Örebro, Sweden is another new act appearing determined to pick up the Power Trip torch. Bolstered by Joel Grind's hand in the production, as well as the best Riley Gale imitator I've come across so far in frontman Tobias Mattsson, Witch Supreme is their brand-new sophomore effort, coming four years after concise debut Sacrilegious Pain.
To be fair, the listener will be initially wrong-footed by the album, as opener 'Boondock's Tomb' isn't the hi-speed, frontal assault they would expect, but rather a punky number which also interestingly develops into a more atmospheric section, where the guitars also take on a more prominent role, while also displaying a welcome melodic edge. Truly the best kind of surprises, am I right? A somewhat risky first song that pays off nonetheless, especially since 'Under The Night Sky' doubles down on that factor with an ominous, muscular midtempo approach. Now, before you start worrying about the lack of speed, fear not as the buzzing opening riff of 'Into The Dark' shows that Lowest Creature knows how to thrash, after all, and the title-track later cements that impression, but it's just one of the LP's many traits. For a style that can doesn't need a whole lot of variation to succeed, Witch Supreme really tries a lot of things, with the constantly valuable leads acting as the fil rouge between the Manifest Decimation-esque 'W.A.R.G.', the slow-burning 'Conjuring Demons' or the almost doomy (as far as crossover thrash goes, of course) 'Illusions'.
My main complaints would be almost predictable: every album in this style I appreciated, thus including Enforced's "War Remains", lasted for half an hour or little more. Witch Supreme is almost 45 minutes long in its regular form, with the possible addition of two less than remarkable 'bonus' tracks (albeit 'Done/Dead' definitely has its moments). I'm not joking when I say I literally felt my enthusiasm starting to dim halfway through the tracklist every time I listened to the album, and it is just not a good sign. It does not help that, indeed, lots of times I'm left craving for... more thrash. Surely I'm the kind of guy to always prioritize fast songs over midtempo ones, and even then, again, I can't deny how brilliantly they truly pull off the slower parts, but as an example, I'm having honest trouble remembering closer 'Beyond The Grave', not because it's bad, but because it's not so different from at least three or four songs that preceded it. Sometimes a little more selection could work wonders...
Thus, despite being tempted to compare this to High Command's "Eclipse Of The Dual Moons" for this very aspect, Lowest Creature mercifully sound way more convincing in what they do, especially in the vocal department. Witch Supreme isn't an average album, but it's a great one leaving a regrettably average aftertaste – a bit of a disappointment after a rather inspiring start.
It's safe to say, the quest goes on (with apologies to Sean16).
Rating: 7.7 out of 10261