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Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire


by Matt Hensch

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Witchsorrow is a doomy darling. My unique and special conviction that Witchsorrow is a Cathedral from Hell makes the band appealing both aesthetically and structurally. I liked "God Curse Us" quite a bit, and it is satisfying to know "No Light, Only Fire" refuses to stray from a style that has its sh*t in order. The album stays the course of evil doom metal taking after the godfathers and the spawn they created, striking in slow, menacing stomps that dwell in the nihilism they emit. Witchsorrow has plenty of hooking riffs and ideas up its sleeve, and it's safe to say the black atmosphere found everywhere was not created by chance.

Witchsorrow rides this cool wavelength that touches on the evil atmosphere of Electric Wizard while brushing against the bluesy drawls of Black Sabbath and the attitude of Cathedral. The differences between albums aren't palpable, but the songs stick with more authority and the band isn't as careful traversing the abyss through the long tunnels of songs like "Disaster Reality" and "Negative Utopia." Witchsorrow seems to have a larger knack for up-tempo bits, as the first song and "To the Gallows" churn out quick rhythms and flirt with black metal riffing on the latter track. The guitar solos are implemented into the scheme in a more memorable fashion, and it all works to show Witchsorrow is upping every facet of their doom-laden measures.

"No Light, Only Fire" is, however, an album of atmosphere; one does not need a degree to conceptualize what aura the group captures. It's a record that lives up to its name, not that that wasn't expected. Nick Ruskell, who goes by the name of "Necroskull" because evil reasons, sounds like Lee Dorrian after realizing the sum of all things multiplied by zero still equals nothing. Witchsorrow's little ode to Mayhem that appeared on an EP with a cover of "Freezing Moon" acts as the curtain call for the record. "De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas" is its name, and it churns and roasts for fourteen minutes of hellish Cathedral-like doom caked in Witchsorrow's negativistic view. What a wonderful way to put the record six feet under.

The songwriting reaches new limits while Witchsorrow creates the best catalog of tunes they've done throughout their first trio of records. "No Light, Only Fire" is better balanced, more fulfilling, and just a finer piece of evil doom than its predecessors.

Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire
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