For years, if not decades, Heavy Metal’s heaviest sub-genre known as Doom Metal has been something of an enigma, generally ignored by the metal masses, its flames kept fanned by a mere handful of cave-dwelling enthusiasts that fully understood its emotional depth and beauty.
With this in mind, it was almost inconceivable that it would become as widely acknowledged and appreciated as it is today. Since recent times the term ‘Doom Metal’ is used almost as commonly as any other form of metal, and whilst many trends have come and gone, Doom never went away.
Now that it is a more commonly-accepted genre, it has typically led to an abundance of bandwagon jumpers coming to the funeral. Using as much copy and paste occult paraphernalia possible can’t disguise the fact that they’re not genuinely into the art, or in fact particularly that great.
Witchsorrow are a prime example of a band unaffected by this Johnny-come-lately approach and play their pure and epic non-pretentious brand of Doom Metal straight from the heart. If their self-titled 2010 debut suggested that, God Curse Us confirms it across almost an hour of unsullied doom.
Recorded over Halloween by Chris Fielding at Wales’ ultra-remote Foel Studios (Electric Wizard, Primordial, Hawkwind), God Curse Us is an album that brings the dark spirit of ’70s Sabbath forward to 2012. Capturing the dark essence of classic doom: heavy, mournful riffs; oppressive atmosphere, bleak, sinister vocals and full-power metal freakouts, there’s no mistaking it for anything else.
“I just want to carry on what Sabbath started,” states frontman Necroskull. “I want to keep that old flame alive. I think that’s always been what all the great doom bands have strived to do. It’s a tremendous honour to add our own colour to the great tapestry of doom metal.”
God Curse Us certainly does that over its hour of pure heaviness, taking in an Electric Funeral-esque vision of the apocalypse (God Curse Us), morbid, crawling grimness (Masters Of Nothing), dark fascination (Ab Antiquo/Megiddo) and pure Heavy Metal thunder (Breaking The Lore). For fans of the lighter side of metal, this is not.
“There isn’t any light at all in the album,” asserts Necroskull. “It’s far too easy for metal to become a parody. We’re not the band out high-fiving everyone and pouring shots down your throat. Everything is falling apart, you can almost taste Armageddon – we’re the ones peering ahead to the end of the world.”
Having already taken their doom-worshipping hymns all over the UK – including a slot headlining the Jagermeister Stage at Sonisphere 2011, where they unleashed Hell to the surprisingly large number of acolytes they pulled away from Metallica’s bloated performance on the Main Stage – God Curse Us looks set to cast Witchsorrow’s shadow even further.
Indeed, God curse us, every one!