DOOM METAL TRADITIONALISTS REVEL IN THE END OF THE WORLD
UK DOOM TRIO
Witchsorrow have been steadily refining their sound with each successive album, culminating in 2015’s towering, anthemic
No Light, Only Fire.
It was difficult to see how they were going to top that record, but new opus Hexenhammer chisels their lumbering morass into an even more efficient beast. The band’s gruelling touring schedule over the last few years has evidently paid off, as they sound tighter and punchier than ever here, especially on more uptempo, unashamedly metallic bangers like The Devil’s Throne and Eternal – a track that augments its molasses-thick grooves with bouncy, Judas Priest-esque verses. Witchsorrow have never been one of those bands to favour amp worship over good old-fashioned songwriting skills, and their compositional muscle just seems to get tauter every year; songs like The Parish might sound utterly suffocating when you’re in the midst of them, but you’ll still find yourself singing them in the shower afterwards.
Working once again with producer extraordinaire Chris Fielding, the album boasts a dense, booming production with some seriously satisfying low-end frequencies, and a crisp, thunderous drum sound that helps these song hit home even harder. Guitarist Necroskull turns in his most vitriolic, aggressive vocal performance yet, too, alternating between pained, hateful roars and soaring hooks on flattening centrepiece Demons Of The Mind, a song that has ‘future live favourite’ written all over it.
At a lean 43 minutes, Hexenhammer is the most potent distillation of the Witchsorrow sound to date, while hinting at exciting new territory for the three-piece; final track Like Sisyphus flirts with sinister, psychedelic guitar lines before erupting in a flurry of blastbeats and chilling tremolo riffs. With their dedication to vintage metal songcraft shining through each ominous note, this is yet another triumph for one of doom metal’s most committed contemporary standard-bearers.
FOR FANS OF: ELECTRIC WIZARD, SAINT VITUS, CATHEDRAL
Witchsorrow celebrate another triumph