The band’s third opus finds them in fine form. “No Light, Only Fire” displays a progression and maturity that is sure to push them to the forefront of the local underground doom metal scene.
The influences are plain to see; Black Sabbath grooves coupled with the crushing weight of St Vitus make for a fine cocktail. However, what is most pleasing is that while the influences are obvious, there is never the impression of mere imitation. The fresh feeling of a young band moving forward, stamping their authority is evident throughout the album. With half the tracks clocking in at near or over ten minutes, Witchsorrow lead us on some stunning journeys. Now, what’s in the belly of this beast?
Opening track, “There Is No Light There Is Only Fire” is a thundering statement of intent. Ominous, dramatic riffs open into a groove that is sure to get everyone down front when played live. The vocals are full of menace and desperation. The pace of the track sets up the rest of the album perfectly. Hopefully this piece will become a staple at future gigs.
“The Martyr” is classic Witchsorrow. Emily’s bass is all brooding before the weighty riff. Elegant and dark with foreboding lyrics that drag you into another world, there is a real sense of power developing. “Oh yeah!” – the climax is all out head banging with Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell’s soloing nodding to Tony Iommi while Dave Wilbrahammer’s drums gallop along furiously.
The journey is only just beginning. “Made Of The Void” has big strutting riffs that hark back to classic early Black Sabbath. This is a crushing track full of churning rhythms before leading into the punch of “Negative Utopia”. There are hints of psychedelia and old school heavy metal on “To The Gallows” which fall into a pulverising crescendo. Proof is evident everywhere that Witchsorrow is a power trio in the truest sense.
Throughout the album there is that lovely combination of light and shade accentuating the heaviness of this band. After a creeping introduction, “Disaster Reality” delivers a fuzzed wall of sound with damning vocals from Necroskull. The rhythm section of Emily Witch and Wilbrahammer are tight, providing a constant solid platform throughout.
The delicate, acoustic medieval flourishes of “Four Candles” bleed into the apocalyptic finale of “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas.” The latter is an overwhelming and embracing piece of heavy metal where the sound barges through you, leaving you mesmerised and wanting more.
There are so many potential crowd pleasers on this new release. Oh, to hear the whole album live…just sayin’ Witchsorrow folks!
“No Light, Only Fire” is a masterclass in British doom metal. At times atmospheric and at others claustrophobic and unrelenting, this truly is music from the soul. This is a big step forward from a band that already has two very solid albums under their belt. Buy this album and get out to catch Witchsorrow live – you won’t be disappointed.
(9/10 Johnny Zed)