As a nostalgic being, I’ve spent this Sabbath Sunday looking back. This album in particular deserves more time in the limelight. Witness the (slightly revised) review for: Witchcryer - Cry Witch.
Like it or tolerate it, doom is foundational. Youthful encounters with groups such as Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, & the oft-neglected Pagan Altar established in myself & many others a love for doom--&, more significantly, a love for the metalverse at large. When a new band sounds like the progenitors of heavy, it’s easy to wash them off as mere nostalgia-core. It is with this wariness that I approached Witchcryer Needlessly, as it turns out. Despite deep roots, these Texan occult rockers have created something inexplicably fresh to call their own.
On Cry Witch, all elements work together exceedingly well. Hefty bass paves a path of irresistible groove, & the riffs mosey with a deadly combination of down-to-business swagger & infectious charm. The fingerprints (in a manner of speaking) of Never Say Die era Iommi are all over this album, but would we want our classic riffage any other way? Iommi’s approach to composition changed while writing Heaven in Hell, in that Dio sang melodically across the riff, whereas Ozzy sang directly over them. It is to Bravo’s credit is that she handily does both, providing an element of complexity & maturity that is difficult to find in ye doom of olde. Ranging from a somber croon (The Preying Kind) to a raspy scream (Ma Kali), Bravo’s emotive vocals are what truly makes Witchcryer a fiery force in the proto-doom sphere. Lastly, while it often feels that the best compliment one can offer a drummer is that they do an effective job without being particularly noticeable, Moctezuma’s choice to ride the cymbals through choruses perfectly compliments the stellar vocals.
Normally brevity isn’t a cause for disappointment, but given the Witchfinder & Sabbath covers, original Witchcryer is precious content. Another hard-hitting tune after the acoustic closer would have left the album on a slightly stronger note. This may be a moot point, however, as an appropriate reaction to reaching the end...is simply taking it from the top. Highly recommended!
Witchcryer - Cry Witch was released Jan. 19th from Ripple Music
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.