Archive for the ‘Witchsorrow’ Category

Anger Mangement: Witchsorrow

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

Before this review I’d just like to acknowledge the tragic passing of Pete Dunstan, aka The Black Captain). I used to listen to Pete broadcast during the mid ‘90s. I’d tape the show, get woken up by the tape finishing, turn it over and record again. Pete put me onto a lot of amazing music. He was a compelling broadcaster, his writing was top notch and you can check out his archives here at LIN. Above all, he was truly nice guy that made time for everyone. Please take the time to read the really nice tribute to Pete by Matthew Tomich.

Taking a magnifying glass to any genre of music and subsequently falling down a rabbit hole is fascinating. Genres within genres and subgenres really negate any foolish argument of, “I don’t like genre A/B/C because it all sounds the same.” One of the more fascinating styles of music to do this with is doom metal.

While the mantra of doom metal is generally low and slow, there are a plethora of different styles and sounds under the doom umbrella. Who could have predicted that when Black Sabbath tuned down in 1968 that doom would have mushroomed into what we have today? Like something a bit more psych? There’s a tonne of bands for you. Prefer something more epic? Plenty there too. Funeral doom for winter? Done. Doom is way more popular now than it ever has been. Bands that couldn’t get arrested 5 years ago (Yob, Electric Wizard etc) are putting out incredible albums and the live shows are a hot ticket to get.

The UK’s Witchsorrow play a brand of doom on their third album, No Light, Only Fire, that has a capital M for “METAL”. Following on from 2012’s full length, God Curse Us, and the awesomely titled/why didn’t I think of that EP, De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas, this new record sees the band speeding up a touch and embracing the sounds of bands such as Saint Vitus, Reverend Bizarre, Trouble, Cathedral and even a touch of Hellhammer.

The production is great, everything coming through loud and clear, the band giving the producer the direction of: “Hellhammer. ‘80s aggression. No posing.” The opening (almost) title track reminds me a touch of High On Fire. There are still plenty of longer songs here with riffs aplenty. “Made Of The Void” and “Negative Utopia” are top notch but the real highlight is the awesome stomp of “The Gallows” and its awesome middle-weird, slightly black metal tremolo riff.

Guitarist/vocalist Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell puts in a great performance, even showing a nod to older folk/acid groups with a small acoustic ditty, but bassist Emily Witch and drummer David Wilbrahammer are right there in step with pounding drums and gnarly bass. The album ends with a re-recorded version of “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas” to show everyone that they can still go as low and slow as anyone.

No Light, Only Fire is an excellent album chock full of great doom metal songs. Great stuff.

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.