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King Witch - Body of Light Award winner

King Witch
Body of Light
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 March 2020, 9:53 AM

KING WITCH is a Doom/Heavy Metal band from the United Kingdom, specifically Edinburgh. I reviewed their first album, “Under The Mountain,” a couple years ago and was impressed.  “Body Of Light,” thankfully finds the band still dishing out Heavy Metal infused Doom.  Their sound has an old school, raw tone to it but “Body Of Light,” has much improved production over their previous album.  This also showcases LAURA’s vocals because they aren’t as hidden in the mix this time around; the vocal effects have been toned down as well, allowing for her strong presence to really shine through.  She sings her ass off across the album’s 59 min run-time and never wears out her welcome.  No doubt, “Body of Light,” definitely establishes her as one of the best current vocalists in the Heavy Metal/Doom scene.

The opening, title track “Body Of Light,” begins ever so subtle, hints of bass dancing around the build up created by the guitars.  Suddenly, the drums go all out and the song kicks into gear—and stays there.  The slick, groovy riffs echo the energy traditional Metal but the presentation of Sludge/Doom.  Laura’s high octane performance leads the band on their heavy march, right into a wild solo that in turn leads into some great fucking riffs that had me headbanging in my living room.  The last couple minutes of the songs consist of mind melting riffs, bass, and drums…the band lays it all and just breaks everything on the way to the end.  Gilchrist, Brown, and Lee are such a strong instrumental trio—these guys work so well together that it is almost scary.

The next track, “Of Rock And Stone,” is about as heavy as either of those things.  A brief psychedelic portion starts the track off on the right foot as those thick, massive riffs take over.  The riffs and drums compliment the vocals for a track that flows freely in its entire eight and a half minute run.  Speaking of which, this album is quite a bit longer than “Under The Mountain,” with songs that also run longer.  Normally too much of a good thing can ruin an album but not this one—KING WITCH definitely make the time work for them, throwing everything into the songs with no bloat even on the longer tracks.  In fact, the last few minutes of “Of Rock And Stone,” are the best moments of the song.  Laura throws out these high pitched, emotional wails while Brown hammers into his kit on top of those heavy bass lines and riffs.  A magical song, the whole damn thing.

Unsurprisingly, the highlights of the album are the two longest songs: “Solstice I: She Burns,” and “Beyond The Black Gate.” “Solstice I: She Burns,” has a very laid back intro, almost classic rock in a sense. But the bass starts to drop some heavy notes and then the flood gates open.  Some of the most intense, “heavy as an oncoming train,” moments on the album are found in this song.  From 6:00 to 7:00 minutes, is an exercise on sweltering Doom laden guitar and bass, a prime example of the power of the genre.  The last minute and a half is so thunderous and rumbling, I almost went deaf, blind, and dumb. “Beyond The Black Gate,” begins more immediate with SABBATH on steroids style guitar and clever cymbal work.  The atmosphere on this song is a bit ominous and derelict but it serves the band well, as they play with such passion and fire on this track. Some of the riffs have some blues influence in them and it actually highlights the vocals.  This one is a barn burner, even with the melodic mid- section, which is well placed and keeps the long track flowing nicely.

KING WITCH have once against brought down the hammer with “Body Of Light,” an album that will surely make a lot of best lists by the end of the year.  In a world that is often times ruled by who can play the most extreme, KING WITCH is a shining light for fans of more traditional Metal/Doom. “Body of Light,” is an album that simply cannot be missed.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Body of Light
2. Of Rock and Stone
3. Call of the Hunter
4. Return to Dust
5. Order from Chaos
6. Solstice I – She Burns
7. Witches Mark
8. Solstice II
9. Beyond The Black Gates
Lineup:
Jamie Gilchrist – Guitars
Laura Donnelly – Vocals
Lyle Brown – Drums
Rory Lee - Bass
Record Label: Listenable Records
     


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Edited 24 November 2020
 

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