Dread Witch is a Doom Metal outfit from Aarhus, Denmark. They formed in 2022 and their debut album Tower of the Severed Sepent has been released January, 27th, 2023.
The band's take on the genre is a brew of filthy Sludge and heavy Doom, flavored with shovels of Stoner sounds occultish vibes and pinches of progressiveness and Post Rock ambience, all seethed in an old school cauldron.
You are served eight portions of the potion. Take the first spoonful and start this trip into soundscapes and atmospheres so dark, bleak and creepy they breathe nightmare, apocalypse and evil.
With the sound of a howling, glacial storm you begin the journey to "The Tower". A place where neither you are welcome, nor you want to be, but the slow, heavy and hypnotizing, psychedelic Doom groove absorbs you like a maelstrom. The vocals set in with a roar, like a storm as well. But this is not like a meteorological event, it's aimed at you, straight into your face and laden with cold hatred. From here the song unfolds its ominous atmosphere.
You're in the tower now and are to attend the satanic ritual of the "Serpent God". Again, a strong groovy Doom riffage is the base and core of the song. Repetitive and mesmerizing it establishes its gloomy occultish vibe and before you realize what's happening, you are part of the ritual of worship and summoning. There are weird, distorted incantations and church bells. The already obscure and threatening atmosphere grows and intensifies and a pinch of unhinged sounds and chaos add a feel of insanity. The evil is unleashed and inevitably takes its course.
And the evil comes in form of the colossal sludge beast "Leech". After a delusively quiet and aethereal intro which feels like some kind of transition into another world - a short sensation of floating through nothingness, the sludgy, slow and massive heaviness hits you all the more and pushes you down in the filthy abyss, again swathed in aethereal nothingness.
This aethereal ambience is carried into "Wormtongue". Here you meet dreamscapes, disturbingly dissonant and eerie as well as melancholic and hopeless. This is a gloomy nightmarish trip.
"Into the Crypt" takes on a death metal attitude, but without letting go of the Doom groove. Like a chugging freight train it makes sure the devastation is complete and irreversible, as if the otherworldly demonic destruction finds its counterpart in our mortal world.
"Severed" perfectly describes the concluding sentiment in an instrumental piece that conveys utter hopelessness and despair. It's a melancholic dirge drenched in ambience and paralyzing slowness, but radiating a sense of purity and sobriety rather than wallowing. The perfect closing song!
Dread Witch mix downtuned, oppressive heavy Doom, relentlessly abrasive and crushing Sludge, hypnotizing occultish Stoner sounds and Ambience with detailed nuances, throw it all into their cauldron, stir it, probably cast a spell, and out comes a concoction of atmospheres and soundscapes to become an album that tells a story of apocalypse with a remarkable distinctive style.
Tower of the Severed Serpent is a fantastic debut album. There's coherence and tightness in the structures of each song as well as in the album as a whole.
Dread Witch are Andreas Cadaver (ex-Stone Cadaver) on guitar, Mikael Rise (Scamp) on vocals and guitar, Dennis Larsen (ex-Olm) on drums. Leifur Nielsen (The World State, ex-Horned Almighty) and Pelle Santana join the band on their live performances on bass and lead guitar.