donderdag 20 april 2023

Witch Ripper - The Flight After the Fall


Witch Ripper - The Flight After the Fall
Magnetic Eye Records – 2023
Rock, Sludge, Stoner, Metal, Prog
Rated: ****

Twas early, early January when the promo for Witch Ripper’s new album The Flight After The Fall hit us hard, hard as nails, as nails being driven into our skull by a pneumatic hammer. And ever since that first spin, as the months passed by, The Flight After The Fall has been on heavy rotation. The quartet released their first self-titled EP back in 2012 and got us all hooked with their 2018 album Homestead. But The Flight After The Fall is of an entirely different level. The sludge and stoner that was perhaps more prevalent on those early releases and their transformation into much more prog and metal, is stunning and huge, huge on an epic scale. Adventurous from start to finish, much will and can be said about the closing almost seventeen-minute-long battleship track Everlasting in Retrograde Parts 1 & 2. It condenses, unpacks, launches and explodes everything they did before they got to this final track and then, when what we assume is the second part commences, decide to add this beautiful, highly atmospheric, slow gliding middle part that is minutely developed into what turns out Everlasting in Retrograde seems to be all about and perhaps Witch Ripper even more in the future. The beauty and the beast, the belle and the brute, finding the right dance, that cyclone waltz that merges all of the different elements into one natural whole and awe inspiring perfect storm. The guitar in the beginning, opening up the composition, with tone and riff, the tension building once the drums are added. Dispelled first with some prog rock meandering before the darkness comes in and the gravelly throat takes the lead, and you feel that foggy dusk descend upon you. Broken apart, clouds dispersing as the light shines through again, by way of the soaring clean vocals and the tones leaving some of the weight behind. But it also leaves behind, breathing in the dust, the four tracks that started the journey. For even though we did enjoy the adventure it took us on, the way that fifth track gleams, shimmers and radiates makes a lot of the varnish for the first four tracks come off a bit matte. And you definitely do not see that coming as you traverse through the The Flight After The Fall the first time… Or second… Or third… But after you’ve come to live with the album, the love for Everlasting in Retrograde Parts 1 & 2 will become immense and the obvious stand out track. So much so, that you will have the urge to listen to it over and over again… And even, yes even, forget about all that wonderful stuff that came before it…

(Written by JK)





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