Witchsorrow ‘God Curse Us’ CD/LP 2012
Rise Above always know how to make supreme choices when it comes to picking the best underground grooves to push in to a more mainstream market. One of their more modern signings, Witchsorrow released their self-titled debut for the label in 2010 and have returned two years later with a second slice of steel in the form of ‘God Curse Us.’
This is an important album for Witchsorrow, with the doom ‘scene’ getting overwhelmingly popular and an increasing number of bands fighting for the ‘best riff to smoke one to’ award. As this opus could propel Witchsorrow to the masses or see them sink in to obscurity, it’s no surprise that the band have released a more precise effort second time round.
In case you are unfamiliar with Witchsorrow, the harsh but honest truth is that they’re an incredibly stereotypical doom band. Occult imagery, slow tempos and unashamed Sabbath worship are what you’ll get from a band who, to be fair, don’t seem to have any interest in breaking the mould.
Witchsorrow’s sound is luckily well pulled off and several moments on ‘God Curse Us’ have impressive, heavy, Saint Vitus like riffs. Opener ‘Aurora Atra’ is a great example of this, taking its time to sneak in an earth shattering guitar lick that could almost rival the ‘70s legends these doomsters adore.
Where the riffs are Witchsorrow’s strongest part their vocals are the weakest. Little to no emotion can be found in vocalist Necroskull’s low, monotonous voice which sounds incredibly dreary throughout. After a few spins of ‘God Curse Us,’ it can’t help but be noticed that with a more adventurous approach to the vocals the band’s sound could be a lot stronger and they could sound like more of a complete unit.
As is in the doom rule book, all bands must have a song exceeding 10 minutes and ‘God Curse is’ is no different with closer ‘Den of Serpents’ touching the 12 minute mark. This is another one of the album’s high points, with pummelling bass rattling alongside the aforementioned riffs that keep the album interesting.
‘God Curse Us’ is more or less free from experimentation outside the doom barrier which seems to be where the band often falls short. This makes rare detours such as the Celtic Frost esque ending of the title track all the more rewarding whilst conjuring the question of why they don’t do it more often.
England (effectively) created doom and the fact Witchsorrow wish to carry on the tradition makes some sense. Unfortunately, ‘God Curse us’ ultimately never takes off and largely appears a middle of the road, if not accomplished effort.
Label: Rise Above Records
Scribed by: Alex Varley