Witchkiss are a doom/sludge band from the US and this is their debut album.
Here we have a very compelling 42 minutes of heavy doom metal. Mixing in elements of sludge and post-metal, the songs thunder their way through the playing time with a mixture of brute-force intensity and intricate nuance, although the latter is frequently more prevalent than the former.
If you mix together a weighty concoction of bands such as Yob, Neurosis, Isis, Slomatics, Witch Mountain, Knut, Crowbar, and others, you’ll have a starting point for the punishing heaviosity that Witchkiss unleash.
Melody is used well when it appears, heightening the atmospheric side of the band’s material. There’s a few different aspects of Witchkiss’ music, all of which have their time in the sun, and are shared out across the album in various places and moments. Some overlap, of course, but the different approaches that the band take to the different songs makes for a varied and enjoyable listen.
As such, each track here is different and has its own feel and personality, while still holistically fitting in with the whole album in a natural way. The songs have obviously been considered and written with this in mind, and there’s good flow, dynamics, and pacing to these songs.
I like that the band incorporate a variety of doom, sludge, and post-metal influences into their songs, which is part of the reason for the depth and substance that the music has. Just when you think you have the band, or even a song, pegged as a certain thing, a different musical element appears that makes you sit up straighter and pay just that little bit more attention.
There are a variety of vocal approaches taken across the album, with delivery shared between male and female singers. The male rough vocals are particularly striking, sounding like an angry bear has awoken in a very cranky mood.
The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes is a strong release, one which has a multifaceted, ambitious delivery, and has the talent to see it through.
A recommended listen, and I look forward to hearing where the band go from here.
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