Witchsorrow

Witchsorrow

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Doom metal has been combined with everything from death metal to gothic metal to black metal to ambient electronica, but there are no hybrids to be found on this self-titled debut album by Witchsorrow, and these Brits never walk a fine line between doom metal and stoner rock. On this 2010 release, Witchsorrow favor a very straight-ahead ‘80s/‘90s-like approach to doom metal that worships at the altar of Black Sabbath. Indeed, the Sabbath influence is impossible to miss on "Thou Art Cursed," "The Agony," and other brooding, sludgy tracks, which is not to say that Witchsorrow's material is a carbon copy of Sabbath's. Like similar doom bands, Witchsorrow identify with punk's rawness and primal nature as well as with Sabbath's riffs. And Witchsorrow's songs, as their name indicates, often deal with witchcraft, or, in the case of "The Trial of Elizabeth Clark," so-called witchcraft. Clark was a British woman who, despite being 80 years old and having only one leg, was falsely accused of witchcraft, tortured, and executed by hanging (as opposed to being burned at the stake) in 1645 thanks in part to the notorious witch hunter Matthew Hopkins, a truly odious SOB who Vincent Price played to perfection in the 1968 horror film Witchfinder General (in the film, Clark was portrayed as a younger woman who was burned at the stake and had both of her legs; despite taking such liberties with history, Witchfinder General was a very good film). "The Trial of Elizabeth Clark" epitomizes Witchsorrow's penchant for dark subject matter, and it is easily the best track on a 45-minute CD that is slightly uneven. Witchsorrow still have some growing and developing to do, but overall, this is a decent debut, if a less than spectacular one. All things considered, Witchsorrow are certainly worth keeping an eye on.

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