Seattle sludgers Witch Ripper let loose with their second long-player, The Flight After The Fall.
Witch Ripper is a metal band from the Pacific Northwest, formed in 2012. They have released an EP, a split, and a full-length album prior to the new one. They are typical called a sludge band, I’ve noticed, but when you hear The Flight After The Fall, you might think of them as progressive metalers.
The narrative content of the new record is described in the prerelease material as containing “ a mad professor, his dying wife, cryogenic chambers, a black hole as well as themes of love, failure, loss, and acceptance.” That is pretty exciting – fertile ground indeed. The band is Chad Fox (guitar, vocals), Brian Kim (bass, vocals), Curtis Parker (guitar, vocals), and Joe Eck (drums).
“Enter the Loop” is the first of six tracks on the record. The quiet dissolve is a slow build that pushes into a proggy arrangement. Hooking melody follows, surprisingly, cracking off in a gruff direction afterward. I am getting a little dizzy listening to the music. This is a fascinating choice for an opener. “Madness and Ritual Solitude” is next, breaking out in percussion to set up a big guitar riff. This one lays on the doom side of the field, with additional activation from the drumming. The composition does turn more technical, but the tone remains serious, the instrumentations are more muscular. Very good. “The Obsidian Forge” is ponderous, drawn more in an intellectual, or at least contemplative, space. Meditate on this one and see if you can find deeper meaning.
“Icarus Equation” is my favorite track outside of the gigantic closer. It offers beautiful, bewitching frontmatter before laying out heavy tones and celestial ideations. But the big story is “Everlasting in Retrograde Parts I and II.” Running almost seventeen minutes, it fits right in as a two-parter since the other songs average about half that mark. What especially appeals to me is the periodic heaviness that exceeds earlier levels, placed in contrast to melodic outpourings. Truly, you could listen only to this final piece and be satisfied, although it does have a greater impact after the rest of the music has been ingested. This is not what I thought I was going to hear, but I thoroughly enjoyed the album. Recommended.
The Flight After The Fall is out on Friday, March 3rd through Magnetic Eye Records. Listen and buy at the links below.
Magnetic Eye Records, https://us.spkr.media/us/Artists/Witch-Ripper/Witch-Ripper-The-Flight-After-The-Fall.html
© Wayne Edwards