The band's second, and arguably most famous, CD. Released just before Beltaine 1994, this is a more up-beat collection, and includes many memorable tracks, in a variety of styles. If you only ever buy one Inkubus Sukkubus album, buy this one.
Re-released on Resurection Records in a digipack sleeve just after Lammas of 2002, Wytches is once more readily available.
The album starts in fine style with this storming anthem to witchcraft in general.
Come with us speeding through the night
As fast as any bird in flight
Silhouettes against the Mother Moon
We will be there soon
The song ends with the goddess chant which became a song in it's own right on "Away With The Faeries", five years later.
A definitive hymn to the Goddess of Summer, "Queen Of The May" tells the story of Beltaine, and the changeover from the Dark to Light halves of the year.
All across the barren land
Still cold from Winter's hand
It has been a time for tears
Season of the Goddess return
On this eve, the first Summer night
Out of the darkness and into the light
Set the Beltaine fires alight
Season of the Goddess return!
A song both personal and general, which tells of the singers birth to the Pagan faith, and also of tbe rebirth of the Sun God, leading all of nature in the blossoming race to Summer
In Winter's cloak we've sheltered long
Waiting for Spring's sweet song
Tho' warmth we've found beside the hearth
Its glow could not break through the dark
I look toward the firey sky
And know that your return is nigh
Tho' all must fall as the Harvest corn
It is my fate I'm Pagan born!
A total change of tempo now, for this gentle acoustic lament, of a gypsy girl for her dead love, and the earth magic she uses to bind them till they meet again.
Sleep well my love
Sleep while the night sky weaves her spell
Sleep without pain
Sleep though I yearn to have you near me
The flames of all you were
Have vanished in the ground
Sweet scented rosemary is scattered all arround.
Switching back to heavy darkside rock, Leveller is a stunning track about Death, the great leveller, feared by the rich and powerful, yet welcomed by the suffering and downtrodden.
Though the kings and the queens and the generals
Dread the gaze of his eyes
To the weak and the cold and the starving
He's a blessing in disguise
For his sweet kiss gives release and they shall suffer no more
So they don't fear when he comes a knock, knock, knocking on the door...
So you think Inkubus Sukkubus are anti-Christ? This is the song that disproves that notion, telling the story of the rape of South America by the medeival Spanish Conquistadors.
Broken on a cross, hangs their graven god
And all his well meant words, are lost amongst the lies
Blood is on their hands, those evil men from the Christian lands!
While the figures quoted may vary, all are agreed that the pan-European witch hunts of the middle ages, driven by the Church and enacted by the evil and the greedy, claimed many victims. Here is a song that both tells the story, and reminds us to resist any return to the horrors of the past - as certain elements of the 'Religious Right' would love us to do...
Children resist, a return to the burning times
People be wise, to the power of their lies
Be not fooled, as those who were fooled before
Childern, oh children, be free, be wild!
Inkubus Sukkubus have created a series of powerfull celebratory hymns to the Horned God, in this reviewer's opinion this one is still the greatest of all. The end chant, "Oh great Horned God", which is reproduced in the "Circle" section of this site, is a powerful incantation, I've used it in both Ritual and meditation many times, and would advise anyone seeking Pan's gifts to do likewise - it works!
Can you hear the forest sing?
On a breath of damiana
It calls his name
Seduced by the spirit once again
Cloven hooves beat upon the earth
He comes to us from Arcadia
Through the trees
The rush of his force felt upon the breeze
The second of the band's great "church-bashers", and arguably the best, normally performed live as part of the encore, run into the other, Belladonna & Aconite's "All The Devil's Men". This track pulls no punches, indeed it's a heavy duty goth-rock piledriver of a song - play loud!
What do they tell the people, of their own crusades?
Of the women and the children, impaled on Christian blades
Rejoice they say, for we are saved, and we must sing the fight
Sing it till your lungs burst, or they'll set you alight!
Based on a real Gloucestershire legend, (see here (opens new window) for the full story) this track has a real medeival musical feel to it, and really brings the sad tale to life.
At the cross-roads they impale her
With the elm they claim to save her
Save her soul from Satan's evil lair
Maude's sweet mother weeps in madness
At the tree at the cross-roads
The tree that grows from sweet Maude Bowen's heart
One of my all-time favourite Inkubus Sukkubus tracks, Dark Mother is an enduring incantation of Autumn, the Wheel's turning, and approaching Samhain. Muscially rich, and with some of the band's finest lyrics, this track appeals to a wide audience. For anyone who loves the Autumn, Shakespear's "Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness", and the gathering darkness of October, this song is a "must hear".
Now Death has come, and Death has kissed
Death's bitter song, is upon the mist
The dreams of youth, bring a cynical smile
But my true love, shall never die
Our dark mother Queen of the night
Through Death's door guide us to the light
Through the pain set us free
Our dark mother Queen of the night
Let us be reborn again
To round of the album, an upbeat yet dark tale, of a nun, a "Sister of the Church", seduced by the charms of a high-ranking priest - or is he the Devil in disguise? Then again, "Grandier" is a character from Aldus Huxley's "Devils of Loudoun", about a priest who was burnt for seducing a nun. A nice mystery to leave the listener pondering as the final notes die away...
Free me from this blind madness
I want you, I love you, oh dear God forgive me
Grandier, what is this lunacy you spread?
A thousand screaming hearts will see you dead
In summary, "Wytches" is beyond all doubt Inkubus Sukkubus's greatest album. A stunning blend of rich music and haunting lyrics, the listener can shut their eyes and be transported through both history and magic. Dark it may be in places, laying bare the horrors of the middle ages perpetrated in the name of Christianity, yet it is also uplifting, with powerful incantations to both the Horned God and the Tripple Goddess, and celebrations of the Pagan way.
Buy this album, you will not be disapointed!
"Wytches" reviewd by Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), Samhain, 2000.
Update: Broken link in "Maude Bowen" fixed (twisted tree now has it's own domain), text regarding re-release added, just shy of Beltaine, 2003.
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