‘No Light, Only Fire’
Candlelight Records, September 2015
“I’m not a very nice person. I don’t like people. I pretty much hate everything.” These are the inspiring words of Witchsorrow’s universe-despising frontman Necroskull, and his ever-so-slightly negative perspective oozes from the band’s magnificent new album like vomit from a sandwich.
This follow-up to 2012’s excellent ‘God Curse Us’ bursts into life like a flame-hoofed stallion bolting from the devil’s own stables, with a relatively uptempo Doom Metal romp – ‘There Is No Light, There Is Only Fire’ – that puts the focus firmly on the Metal. Thereafter, this gloomy UK trio gets back to more familiar territory, with elegantly plodding riffs and graceful, majestic choruses.
‘The Martyr’ is a fine example of gold standard doom – slow, simple and sublime. It sounds like a mouldy, British version of classic Saint Vitus, not only because of its intoxicating subtlety, melody and quality but also in the snarl and bite that is reminiscent of the LA doom legends. The gleeful guitar solos on ‘Made Of The Void’ and ‘Negative Utopia’ evoke none other than Dave Chandler himself in their impassioned misery. This is good stuff.
Witchsorrow have upped their game since their highly-acclaimed 2012 debut, incorporating greater energy and variety into their music while maintaining the shuddering heaviness that has reduced countless British venues to rubble in recent years.
The band’s increasing army of supporters will soon be earning a new kind of headache thanks to the instant hits to be found here. Another standout track, ‘To The Gallows’, even received some airplay on BBC Radio recently, suggesting that this understated, traditional doom metal outfit are getting some well-deserved attention.
Even as the songs effortlessly ebb and flow, there’s a raw, stark hopelessness pervading the album. It’s the kind of inspired, whole-hearted hopelessness that ensures Necroskull and his black-clad cohorts do not descend into stupefied apathy or depression. After all, it is in the deepest, darkest mines that the brightest diamonds are found. Witchsorrow’s ‘No Light, Only Fire’ is a gem of an album, and a monument to the finest traditions of doom metal.