Review: Rorcal & Earthflesh ‘Witch Coven’

This pandemic has brought terrible suffering to this world, but it also seems to have inspired some truly inventive works of art and music. Blackened doom destroyers Rorcal and industrial noise tyrants Earthflesh have combined their formidable and horrendous talents to create Witch Coven, a two track thirty minute collaboration of the darkest stylings. It is out now through Hummus Records.

Rorcal & Earthflesh 'Witch Coven'

Altars of Nothingness opens with an almost hymnal, ritual vocal as eerie noises creep into the background. This choir of menace begins to falter as crashing guitar, crackling interference and clashing drums rain down upon you. It is at once both oppressive and yet somehow strangely open; a vast soundscape where howling roars engage with massive riffs and an ever present static hum. As much as the build up hits, when the guitar drops away and you’re left with this haunting choral vocal again, electronic samples skittering across, you’ll be stunned.

lumbering doom, vast soundscapes and atonal, jagged black metal riffs battering itself against this impenetrable wall of noise…

Happiness Sucks, So Do You is what I imagine Anaal Nathrakh sound like at a quarter speed, savage walls of blackened noise upon which a shredding scream crashes against, occasionally smashing into full on industrial black metal fury. Like Aborym but they’re playing Boris/Merzbow covers. About halfway the tempo and volume drops, but the layering and the smooth crescendo back into flesh scouring black metal rage is a thing of fiery beauty. The electronic samples lurk behind the main instruments, enhancing each moment of terror.

I’ve never really been one for splits, but when I saw this was a collaboration I dived straight in. You can’t tell where the blackened doom ends and the industrial noise starts, everything is blended into a cacophonous assault on the senses. Witch Coven has it all; lumbering doom, vast soundscapes and atonal, jagged black metal riffs battering itself against this impenetrable wall of noise. The static creates an impression of oppression, but there are every so often little chinks of light through the fog. Witch Coven is one of my surprise highlights of 2021 so far, and if you like your black metal/doom/industrial/ambient/noise you’ll find something to like here. Excellent stuff.

Label: Hummus Records
Rorcal Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Earthflesh Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson