Sunday 26 April 2020

Album Review: WITCHSKULL - A Driftwood Cross

Witchskull - A Driftwood Cross

01. Black Cathedrals
02. Baphomet's Child
03. The Silent Place
04. The Red Altar
05. Dresden
06. March Of Winter
07. Nero Order
08. A Driftwood Cross

These guys are from Canberra and play what I can best describe as melodic Doom Metal. I'm quite picky with Doom, as a lot of it is slow, boring, and devoid of any even vaguely original ideas. Now Witchskull are a different ball game. They can pen a catchy tune and groove like motherfuckers.

A Driftwood Cross is their third album, but this is the first time I've listened to them. The Silent Place was the first song I heard and it's amazing. It's dirty and heavy, with some clean melodic vocals that really hooked me in. Instrumentally, it has a Grunge vibe too, like Soundgarden or early Smashing Pumpkins. Throw that in the mix with some Kyuss and you should be somewhere close. Anyway, it's totally killer and was enough to make me check out the full record.

Do I need to mention a Black Sabbath influence when writing about any bands of this genre? Not really. It's a given that bands like this all adore the Vol.4.

Opener Black Cathedrals has an upbeat bouncy riff that ironically reminds me of Cathedral., before slowing down to finish in Doom-laden misery.  

Baphomet's Child is a locomotive of heavy upbeat grooves entwined with melodic vocals and oozing with character. The Red Alter takes the tempo back down to familiar Doom territories before some tribal drumming builds it back into a hypnotic finale. Dresden kicks off with a gallop and a distinct NWOBHM vibe about it. There's a slow dirge section in the middle before it rages to the finish line.

I'm sure you get the picture by now. There are no major surprises here, just mountains of Sludge and Doom with hints of Grunge and Classic Rock. However, the songs are very well written and, backed with a first-class production, quality musicianship and riffs heavier than your Mum, The Silent Place is an impressive beast indeed.


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