Mon 27th February 2017
Witchapter are a new name to me, and at the time of writing there's little information available on their identity, either through the accompanying press bio or their social media sites. All I do know can be summised in three points - (i) they're from the UK, South East as best I can tell, (ii) this is yet another Black Bow release this year, the label fast becoming a hub of finding and promoting hidden gems like this and (iii) this rocks like a bastard.
I'm basing the scientifically evidenced third assessment largely on repeat plays of the first of the three tracks of this EP - Veiled Aggressor. The barked vocals over hardcore styled sludge hooks you in, but then the riff that gatecrashes proceedings shortly after three minutes are clocked is magnificent, a surge that will have you damaging anything in arms reach in an uncontrollable triggered inbuilt armchair mosh. As uncomplicated as it may be, my naive riff-loving soul will instantly love anyone giving forth moments like this, even if nothing else were to hold up.
Thankfully, that's not the case here. Through Smoke and Sulphur is a great and grand stoner/doom offering worshipping at the altar of Sleep, largely instrumental, only veering into a brief interlude of shrieked vocal. There's a simplicity to the track, a welcome one, a neat replaybale five minutes. Everywhere I Look I See My Grave takes up half the EP, ending with slower than before, demonic, doped, dredged doom. The unholiness relents only after seven minutes, for quiet lone guitar, but this only serves to set up the crashing, crushing return.
Spellcaster doesn't necessarily offer anything particularly new, yet still sounds vibrant and fresh, as unfitting a term as that may be for the besmirched doom returned. No, this is a fearsome debut, an EP to lodge their name in any right minded, right earred doom fan of our land.