Witch Coven is the confluence of two rivers coming together in a symphony of Black Metal and Doom wretchedness.
Rorcal is a well-known Doom Metal band from Switzerland that started around 2006 and has released many long-players and EPs through the years. Earthflesh is Bruno da Encarnação who was the bassist for Rorcal until recently and is collaborating with the band under his new moniker. Other band members include Ron Lahyani (drums), Jean-Philippe Schopfer (guitar), Diogo Almeida (guitar), and Yonni Chapatte (vocals). The new album is quite different from what they have done before. It is at times harsh and dissonant, and overall is a fascinating combination of Doom, Noise, Ambient Metal, and Black Metal.
There are two long songs on the album. “Altars of Nothingness” opens with nearly three minutes of voices, like a small choir, in very creepy harmony. The middle is a ritualistic combination of Doom and Black Metal, with sizzling noise and ambient menace to accompany the vocal suffering, clipped and punched by percussion and crushing riffs. The long song ends with what sounds like the screaming of a mammal being sacrificed on an altar and then those voices again as the last thing the sacrifice hears.
“Happiness Sucks, So Do You” is side 2 and it is savage and confrontational at the gate. It is a relentless battering of percussion and guitar sawing and Black Metal vocalizations for the first third. Then we break through into the abyss, and the mood turns to hopelessness. Passing through then ultimately into a merciless dragging through sharp edges and heavy smashings. By the end you don’t have much left and all you can do is reflect.
The two pieces are very different. Both are challenging and journey-oriented. Taking different paths, they are separate explorations in a dark place that in the end combine into a discernable revelation. Recommended.
Witch Coven is out now. The digital is an easy get at Bandcamp, and Hummus Records has vinyl and merch bundles.
Website Rorcal, https://www.rorcal.com/
Bandcamp Rorcal, https://rorcal.bandcamp.com/
Bandcamp Earthflesh, https://earthflesh.bandcamp.com/
Facebook Rorcal, https://www.facebook.com/Rorcal
Facebook Earthflesh, https://www.facebook.com/earthfleshnoise