October 2, 2017 | by Jocelyn Hoppa
Love the band Witchfinder General, hate the album art. Luckily, there are some vids from the album Death Penalty without the cover art, which basically features a half-undressed woman on a site at the St. Mary the Blessed Virgin Church in Staffordshire, surrounded by hooded figures who all look as though they're about to have their way with her. Death Penalty was not their only album to feature a topless witch — the band is well known for it.
There actually is a sadistic element to the film, full of violence and the witch hunters finding pleasure in it, which makes the album art pointlessly controversial. (And it's often what the band is remembered for rather than their music. There's a reason why they quit in 1984, as many couldn't figure out if the band was a parody of itself or not.)
Released in October of 1982, riding in on the new wave of British Heavy Metal, Death Penalty leaned far more into what doom metal would come to be than other bands of that same scene. Thus, it's considered a classic doom metal album. Low production value can be witnessed on Death Penalty, however, that doesn't really matter, and perhaps adds to its overall visceral doom. Once you get beyond all of the barriers to entry (and there are a few!), everything else about this album is all heavy Sabbath riffs met with drug-addled abandon — the perfect doom-laden soundtrack for 1982 metal folks in England.
"Invisible Hate" basically strips down the feeling of wanting peace and love from the world, but learning that it's actually all a big ball of shit where no one gives a damn about anyone else, and the sadness and hate one experiences basically feels like it has the power to kill. But then at the end, they find sex, drugs, rock and beer, so it's all good again.