In anticipation of the release of their upcoming LP ‘No Light Only Fire’, Surrey doom trio Witchsorrow host a an evening of heavy gloom at the Black Heart, bringing Sea Bastard and Brule along for the ride.
Named after the Conan comics spear slayer, heavy metal four piece Brule open the show. Featuring current and ex members from the likes of Age of Taurus, Pig Iron and Mourn, the musical influences that each member has brought to this performance from their respective projects is palpable. A fusion of blues rock and heavy metal renders a vintage sound that’s akin to the middle ground between Goatsnake and Alice in Chains, but slowed down by around 50%. No doubt the most upbeat band of the evening and the perfect way to warm up the crowd for what’s to come.
A Sea Bastard performance just wouldn’t be a Sea Bastard performance without something going wrong. Unfortunately tonight the guitarist’s amp decides it doesn’t want to play ball and the time spent trying to fix it costs the Brighton natives half of their set time. In true heroic fashion they manage to claw it back, playing through the PA, and using what little time they have left to hypnotise the crowd with a monstrous force that batters the mind as well as the eardrums. The riffs feel like they could last for days and are generally more sludgy than other bands cut from the same cloth – Sea Bastard are packing way less in terms of groove and instead displace it for discordant leads that lean towards a darker, more evil sounding sonic vibe.
Witchsorrow waste no time in getting the crowd acquainted with their new material, opening with ‘No Light Only Fire’. Nick, Emily and David are masters of musical dynamics; switching effortlessly between fast paced, galloping riffs and slower paced passages of despair. The showmanship on stage is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to and they showcase that their newer material is every bit as good, if not better, live as it is on record. Never relinquishing their hold on their obvious ‘Leccy Wiz/Sabbath influences, but without sounding like straight up copycats, they do the whole traditional doom thing so well that it genuinely doesn’t matter if they aren’t reinventing the wheel with the music they make. Despite wanting to show off brand new material, Witchsorrow don’t neglect to play through older material and say their farewell for the evening with ‘God Curse Us’ – a song which has become somewhat of an anthem for the band for those that watch them live on a regular basis. Their parting number has the audience pumping their fists and shouting along. A triumphant night for the band and a promising glimpse of what to expect for the next record.
(Review by Angela Davey)