Reviewed: September, 2018
Released: 2018, Blood Harvest Records
Reviewer: Owen Thompson
Although Rhode Island, USA natives Witch King have been around since 2008, it has taken up until now for them to release a full-length album, although there have been a slew of demos and split releases in that time. Some bands spend their entire career ploughing the furrow of sheer brutality. Witch King appear to fit into that category.
The opus begins with the nuclear explosion racket they call “Rejection of the Light”. What the band lack in finesse they make up for with utter ferocity. Indeed, this is the sound of a band that want to string you up by your genitalia. The measured crunch of “Void Emissary” is a little less speedy but no less ugly. Eventually it explodes in a spasm of unbridled fury. The carnage continues with the melody-free tooth rattler “Apocalypse Tribe”; this is about as nihilistic and apocalyptic as it gets.
The scene is well and truly set by now. The band have nailed their colours to the proverbial mast. The vengeful mutant rage of the title track and “Savage Conquest Upon Holy Lands” is clear evidence of their malicious intentions. The insistent ramblings of “Howling Before the Veil” provides the listener with something resembling groove, for a short while. It doesn’t take long for the holocaust to arrive. The doomy intro of “Mocking the Seraphim” provides a welcome diversion before the band revert to naked aggression. The aptly named “Final Annihilation” whizzes by so fast that there is little to hang on to.
The album closes in suitably venomous fashion with “Astral Desecration”. It is more tightly controlled, and a bit less frantic and chaotic than other songs. The track’s longer running time allows it more time to breathe and develop. To very little surprise it eventually hurtles forth with more dark velocity.
The guitar tone is thick and filthy, but the riffs are played at such speed that it is hard to really decipher what is being played. It has very little in the way of catchy hooks or memorable motifs. In some ways the similarity between tracks makes them all seem like one lengthy song and not individual tracks. The whole thing is played with a sense of sadistic glee. The aural equivalent of a migraine.
Rejection of the Light
Voice of the Ossuary
Savage Conquest Upon Holy Lands
Howling Before the Veil
Mocking the Seraphim
Band Line Up:
Sean McQuade – Guitars
Ethan Facincani – Bass/Vocals
Ben Lopez – Drums