Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft.
Background information
Origin Örebro, Sweden
Genres Doom, Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Years active 2000-present
Labels Rise Above Records, Nuclear Blast, Kemado Records, The Music Cartel, Candlelight Records USA, Metal Blade Records
Associated acts Norrsken, Graveyard, Troubled Horse, Pentagram
Website Facebook
Current members Magnus Pelander
Past members Ola Henriksson
Jens Henriksson
John Hoyles
Mats Arnesén
Jonas Arnesén
Fredrik Jansson
Oscar Johansson
Tom Jondelius
Simon Solomon
Tobias Anger
Rage Widerberg
Band Logo
18938 logo
Witchcraft are a band from Örebro, Sweden. Active since 2000, the band's sound incorporates elements of hard rock, psychedelic rock and doom rock citing Pentagram and Roky Erickson as key influences. The band themselves acknowledge themselves as a "heavy rock" band rather than a "doom metal" band.[1]


Formation and Witchcraft (2000 - 2004)Edit

Magnus Pelander (formerly of Norrsken) formed Witchcraft in 2000 in order to record a tribute to Pentagram's Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson. The intention was to only record the tribute songs and perform one live show but ultimately plans changed. 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. In mid-2004, the band toured Europe with Orange Goblin and Grand Magus (Even sharing the stage with them and Monster Magnet for the 2004 edition of Roadburn Festival. The band's first shows in the United Kingdom would follow[2] along with a European tour with Grand Magus and Orange Goblin.[3]

Firewood and The Alchemist (2005 - 2008)Edit

The band eventually 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. A tour in Europe with Monster Magnet was in the works but ultimately canceled due to Dave Wyndorf being hospitalized.[4]

In mid-2006, Jonas Arnesén left the band and was replaced by original drummer, Jens Henriksson. The band toured the United States for the first time in the latter part of 2006 with Danava.[5] 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. Magnus Pelander described the experience with the following in a 2007 interview:

“That was last year [2006]. It was quite weird. The story behind him, the drugs and everything, made me very sad. But everyone chooses their own life, in a way. He was a nice guy.”
— Magnus Pelander, L.A. Record [6]

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. A tour of the United States followed in the fall of that year.

Hiatus and Legend (2012 - 2013)Edit

Sometime after touring with Graveyard in 2009 and a string of dates in 2010 the band would go on a hiatus. Eventually in May 2012, the band announced that they had signed with Nuclear Blast Records with a new lineup featuring two new guitarists, a new drummer and Magnus Pelander strictly on vocals.

Their fourth studio album, Legend, was released in September 2012 with a string of European shows surrounding it. In an interview with The Sleeping Shaman, bassist Ola Henriksson explained the hiatus and label change:

“"Life has been good! Here is the reason to the hiatus.

First we toured for 2 years on The Alchemist album and then we took one year off because we needed some time apart. During that year, John and Jansson quit. After that Magnus and I decided to go for it even though it was only us two left. We spent a few months putting together ideas for the album, ( in the basement where we recorded the first album), whilst looking for new band members. When we finally found three new musicians it took us one year to finalise the songs for the album, then a few months of recording and now we are finally here!

We moved from Rise Above because we felt that a change in members and label would be good for us. When Nuclear Blast said that they were interested we thought about it for a while and the decided that it would be a step in the right direction!"”

— Ola Henriksson, The Sleeping Shaman [7]

Second Hiatus, Nucleus and Black Metal (2015 - Present)Edit

Sometime after a touring cycle of Europe in 2013, Witchcraft would go on another hiatus for a few years. On October 28, 2015 Witchcraft would announce a new lineup (Reverting to a three-piece with the departure of Solomon, Jondelius, Johansson and longtime bassist Ola Henriksson.) along with their fifth album Nucleus being finished and set to be released on January 15, 2016. A single of the song "The Outcast" with a b-side of Nirvana's "Even In His Youth" was also announced and set for release on December 4.[8]

As far as the writing process and future touring, Magnus Pelander stating the following in a December 2015 interview with Noisefull:

“[About starting from Norrsken and evolving] Yes evolution, of course. But at the same time you don't have to think it too much, you know 'I HAVE to evolve'. You might have an intension, but sometimes you get stacked and I guess you have to accept that as well (laughs).

[About touring] Yeah...the touring is... Actually the main focus was to record the album at first and at the moment I have to be honest with you there are no show booked yet so unfortunately I don't know yet (laughs).”

— Magnus Pelander, Noisefull [9]

On 14 December 2017 it was announced that Witchcraft would be performing at the 2018 edition of Psycho Las Vegas (Though this performance would be canceled due to VISA issues), marking the band's first show in five years. The performing lineup aside from Pelander is unknown. The band however would play a handful of shows in 2018. The band performed at Borgholm Brinner in 2019[10] and has since been announced to headline the 2020 edition of Desertfest London and DesertFest Berlin. Circa late February 2020 details on an album entitled Black Metal would leak, mainly several songs on YouTube, confirming a sixth studio album allegedly set for 1 May 2020 via Nuclear Blast Records. Black Metal is confirmed to be an acoustic album with Magnus Pelander as the sole performer and released to mixed reviews. Pelander was intended to tour solo as Witchcraft at several festivals but all of these events would cancel due to The CO-VID19 Pandemic.


Studio AlbumsEdit

Splits and SinglesEdit

  • No Angel Or Demon (2003, Primitive Art)
  • Chylde Of Fire (Split With Circulus) (2005, Rise Above Records)
  • If Crimson Was Your Colour (2006, Rise Above Records)
  • Witchcraft / The Sword (Split with The Sword) (2007, Kemado Records)
  • It's Not Because Of You (2012, Nuclear Blast)
  • The Outcast (2015, Nuclear Blast)


Current LineupEdit

  • Magnus Pelander - Guitar, Vocals (2000 - Present)

Past MembersEdit

  • Ola Henriksson - Bass (2000 - 2003, 2004 - 2014)
  • Jens Henriksson - Drums (2000 - 2003, 2006)
  • John Hoyle - Guitar (2000 - 2012)
  • Mats Arnesén - Bass (2003 - 2004)
  • Jonas Arnesén - Drums (2003 - 2006)
  • Fredrik Jansson - Drums (2006 - 2012)
  • Oscar Johansson - Drums (2012 - 2014)
  • Tom Jondelius - Guitar (2012 - 2014)
  • Simon Solomon - Guitar (2012 - 2014)
  • Tobias Anger - Bass (2015 - ?)
  • Rage Widerberg - Drums (2015 - ?)

External LinksEdit


  1. Metal AssaultAccessed 14 April 2016.
  2. via Wayback MachineAccessed 3rd August 2016
  3. via Wayback MachineAccessed 3rd August 2016
  4. BlabbermouthAccessed 14 April 2016.
  5. via Wayback Machine Accessed 14 April 2016.
  6. L.A. Record WITCHCRAFT: BRING ME A PAIR OF CORDUROY PANTS, accessed 14th April 2016
  7. The Sleeping Shaman Witchcraft: Q & A With Ola Henriksson, accessed 14th April 2016
  8. Nuclear BlastAccessed 14 April 2016
  9. Noisefull Interviews: Witchcraft (Magnus Pelander), accessed 14th April 2016
  10. Witchcraft Facebook
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