Album Review: Witch Ritual – Death:Beyond 9 (Stoner Doom)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • Witch Ritual
  • Death: Beyond
  • Doom metal
  • Germany
  • 2019
  • 9/10

Bandcamp – Metallum review

I’m going to try to do this without doing a single pun involving their band name and hopefully without misspelling witch. Witch Ritual is some dense european stoner doom, real melancholic stuff. I haven’t heard their EP, but this is their debut LP that really cements their expectations high. This ones essential for fans Windhand and Jex Thoth, general doomheads should certainly check it out too. It has the raunchiness I love in stoner doom/fuzz without the exploitation aesthetic. It’s pretty awesome all over.

There’s plenty of fuzzy cosmic riffs we’ve come to expect from the genre, but where this record really excels is the quieter sadder moments that linger perfectly. Small instrumentals with a micro focus and patience. It does a lot to add to the overall feeling of the album, this notion of haunting and endless life. If it weren’t for the construction of the album itself and the music composition, a lot of this would be considered on average but the attention to detail often on a small scale, does a lot to elevate it.

The album gets better as it goes on with a fairly typical intro that narrows into a really cool groove as you continue. A stand out track is “Ruins” which is a straight up incredible track showcasing the essence of the record, with a variation of heavier vocals really driving the atmosphere. They’re more like someone screaming down the street from you than studio metal vocals, really dark and obscenely catchy. Paired with the post metal tendencies of the instruments, it really gives me some comforting Battle Of Mice vibes. This record feels very personal in a similar way too, there’s no lyrics up on the bandcamp but what I am hearing sounds like some very passionate writing.

There’s a good amount of variation over the tracks, with the sound and the presentation of the music. By the end of it I feel like I’ve been told a story and now I want to go back and listen further to count along the beats of each transition and lyrical theme. I love how it ends with an acoustic track showing her more traditional singing voice and ending on a very wistful note. I’m loving all of the international doom this year, there’s really some next level stuff going on in Europe with doom. It carries an exotic sensation.

Perfect for blazing in the dark.

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