WITCHSORROW - Witchsorrow

Witchsorrow - Witchsorrow

5 songs
45:48 minutes
***** **
Rise Above


Lamenting the directions their beloved doom metal genre has taken recently, young British three-piece Witchsorrow steadfastly refuse to incorporate any of this uppity drone, ambient and post metal nonsense into their music. Instead you get ultra-classical doom metal whose first and uttermost source of inspiration is quite naturally Black Sabbath, but which eventually sounds much closer to second generation bands like Saint Vitus and very early Cathedral.

The five songs on the self-titled debut total forty-five minutes of sludgy mayhem, and apart from the six minute short Gomorrah where the band even finds its way into a rare mid-tempo beat, the tracks are all between nine and twelve minutes long. The album was recorded in a studio where already bands like Hawkwind, Van der Graaf Generator and Amon Düül II sojourned, so a fitting analogue sound is guaranteed. The vocalist emits hoarse shouts, the guitar is tuned quite low, the bass guitar is droning, and the drummer seems like fighting his way through a vat of molasses… actually all the ingredients you’d expect from a true-to-form doom metal album. If only bass player Emily Witch didn’t look like a nerd with her glasses, but that even adds to the basic charm of the band.

Cathedral became faster after their debut, maybe anticipating the limitations of ultra-slow doom metal, but this doesn’t seem to deter Witchsorrow who seemingly feel much at ease in this gloomy territory. You have to grant they did a good job, know all the tricks of the trade, but that still leaves the question: if they persist on their strict sense of aesthetics, don’t they risk manoeuvring themselves into a dead end street? This self-titled debut, which also comes as limited edition double vinyl set, is a promising debut, but Witchsorrow had better build on this to come up with a more original identity.

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