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Witching - Vernal Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 22 July 2020, 12:15 PM

Labels are truly a problem many times, because it can cause a set of severe misconceptions. No one could be so attached to labels, because such way of thinking can kill the capacity of understand fully what a band expresses musically on their releases. One wrong shot and Metal fans can not deal with a band as the North American quintet WITCHING. Their first album, “Vernal”, can make many fans understand what the words above means.

The band is labeled as Sludge/Doom Metal. Personally, I deny such label, because their music is filled with influences from Black Metal (especially from Finnish Old School acts) and Death Metal. The words can’t express their vast range of musical ideas expressed on their songs that are rich in musical arrangements that can be silk and tender in a moment, and harsh on other. Their musical work is based on contrasts, uses some introspective and sad melodies, but it’s really charming.

Dan Kishbaugh mixed the album, and Brad Boatright made the mastering. Besides the sonority could be better (just a bit), it sounds defined and astonishing clean, in a way that the senses of anyone can understand what the band is musically expressing (an aspect that Sludge Metal bands usually don’t use, maybe for the fixed idea of ‘the-dirtiest-the-better’). The filth comes from the distorted tunes used on their musical instruments during the recording.

The nasty and aggressive work of the quintet is really very good, and songs as “Roses” (it sounds as a Black Metal song, with nasty shrieked screams and good technical work from bass guitar and drums), “Witness” (slow and thunderous tempos, with nasty and funereal melodies, with very good work from guitars, remind a bit something used by MY DYING BRIDE on its early age, along with clean voices), “This is What You Deserve” (a good song as this everyone really deserves, with very good contrasts between screams and clean voices, and a solid and brutal work can be heard on bass guitar and drums), “False Martyr” (a nasty and climatic song on the slow tempos, and a very good set of guitar riffs can be heard on it), and “Vernal” (and aggressive song that really seems like a Black Metal song with some Doom Metal outfit) are those that can be showing two things: they’re not a Sludge/Doom Metal band (they transcended such label); or they’re bringing a new age for the genre.

“Vernal” is really a great experience, and WITCHING is really very good!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Roses
2. Witness
3. Lividity
4. This is What You Deserve
5. The Pack
6. False Martyr
7. Vernal
8. Eschaton
Jacqui Powell - Vocals
Lev Ziskind - Guitars
Nate Zagrimanis - Guitars
Tatiana Buonassisi - Bass
Miles Ziskind - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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