Witchcraft is a Swedish hard rock/heavy metal band founded in 2000. Magnus Pelander (formerly of Norrsken) formed Witchcraft in 2000 in order to record a tribute to Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson. The “No Angel or Demon” single was released in 2002 by Primitive Art Records, which caught the ear of Lee Dorrian’s label Rise Above Records, who quickly signed them. A year later, the band were brought back together with Jonas Arnesén taking the place of original drummer Jens Henriksson, and his brother Mats taking Ola’s place on the bass.
Their debut album, Witchcraft (2004), was worked on in a basement studio with vintage equipment, which gave them their very seventies-esque sound. Mats left the band almost immediately after the recording was done. Mats was also the drummer in the surf trio “The Hollywoods” and 50’s rockin “Eva Eastwood and the Major Keys”. In mid-2004, the band toured Europe with Orange Goblin and Grand Magus.
The band recorded their second album, Firewood, in England, which was released on Rise Above in 2005. That same year the band toured the UK in support of Corrosion of Conformity, backed by the “Chylde of Fire” single.
In mid-2006, Jones Arnesén left the band and was replaced by original drummer, Jens Henriksson. The band toured the US in latter part of 2006 with Danava. During this tour, on November 11, 2006, Witchcraft performed at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, DC. For their encore they played Pentagram covers (“When the Screams Come” and “Yes I Do”) with Bobby Liebling on vocals.
Following their US tour they returned to the studio and recorded the single “If Crimson Was Your Colour”. This was released on 7″ vinyl by Rise Above on November 6, 2006. Following the single Jens Henriksson once again left Witchcraft and was replaced by Fredrik Jansson (formerly of Abramis Brama).
Their third album, The Alchemist, was released on October 8, 2007 by Rise Above Records (UK), Leaf Hound Records (Japan), and Candlelight Records (US). Shortly after The Alchemist, Witchcraft released a split 12″ with The Sword on Kemado Records. The EP features versions of two previously banned in Sweden songs. The cult played the front stage on the one day Ozzfest 2009.
In 2010 Magnus Pelander released a four track solo EP via Svart Records and is currently working on the solo full length album. Current member Ola Henriksson along with former members John Hoyles and Jens Henriksson formed a new band called Troubled Horse and released a 7″ single in early 2010. John Hoyles is also in a band with the drummer of Graveyard called Spiders. Jens Henriksson is also in The Wait a band with Joakim Dimberg, bass player for Dead Man.
In May 2012, the band announced that they had signed with Nuclear Blast Records. Their fourth studio album, Legend, was released in September 2012.
The new album marked the recording debut of the band’s new members, including Simon Solomon (guitar), Tom Jondelius (guitar), and Oscar Johansson (drums) formerly of TruckFighters, with singer Magnus Pelander focusing only on vocals instead of both vocals and guitar.
The new album was released on double vinyl, with a special edition purple vinyl limited to 250 hand numbered copies.