The latest addition to the formidable Black Bow Records roster are Witchapter who unleash their debut EP Spellcaster onto an unsuspecting public. The EP is three tracks of head crushing doom indebted sludge metal with riffs as big as an ocean and lyrics that tell tales of witchcraft and heresy.
Raw and uncompromising, the band bring to mind an unholy meeting of Grief and Iron Monkey with the vocal stylings to match and it is every bit as exciting as that sounds.
The EP kicks off the straight to the point Veiled Aggressor, a song that is part doom, part sludge and all riff with the tortured vocals of Chris Grenfell reminiscent of the late, great Johnny Morrow of Iron Monkey. The track gets this EP off to a fearsome start and sets out the bands heavy agenda from the get go.
The mainly instrumental Through Smoke And Sulphur follows and is aided hear and there with a few choice vocal stylings but is mainly a low slung and foreboding groove that lurches through the song looking for a target to strike, and strike it does with its bass heavy rhythm, pounding drums and razor sharp riffs with the occasional shrieked vocals doing the track when they appear sporadically.
The EP concludes with Everywhere I Look I See My Grave, a pounding epic track with a simple but very effective groove bulldozing everything in its path. It has a hypnotic feel in its relentless nature and will transfix your ears for its whole ten minute duration with the threatening groove displaying its power and when the fearsome growled vocals kick in, it just adds to the feeling of dread and when a more low key but just as menacing simple piece of guitar fits in it adds a sense of uneasy calm before the final hypnotic and heavy push finishes things off in a fitting commanding style
Roll on an album from Witchapter as after listening to Spellcaster, that is exactly what is needed. A great start from a great band.
The UK Undergrounds heaviest label strikes gold again