August 31, 2012 | , | 4

Witchsorrow, God Curse Us

Witchsorrow: God Curse Us

Having never experienced Witchsorrow’s 2010 debut, God Curse Us is my first time encountering the band’s morose and plodding doom (a slick combination of St. Vitus, Black Sabbath and the like). And man, did it take some time to actually absorb the slow moving thunder on these seven songs. I’ll be the first to admit that this is not an easy album to get into, but if you have the patience you will be thoroughly rewarded.

These British doom heathens start of their sophomore effort with “Aura Atra,” a song that spends the first seven minutes or so with slow moving, lumbering riffs and distant vocals before bringing a little life and aggression to the full, low end riffs. Once you hit that seven minute mark the wait is well worth it as the band really opens up with some catchy riffage, steady rhythms, slick leads and Necroskull’s snarling vocals. It’s also a indication of how each song will progress from here on out — slow, plodding, monolithic build-up before a welcome, and much needed explosion of groove and activity.

The title track pulls straight from the Black Sabbath back catalog with a memorable and reminiscent bit of riffing as Necroskull’s vocals arrive a minute or so into the song. It’s a track that’s got a little more vitality to it, but is still mired in an atmosphere of gloom. The chorus will have you snarling along throughout the song’s length. The 6:30 mark sees a dramatic shift in the track as the guys (and gal) beef up the rhythm, vocal snarl and groove. It’s a hell of a song that more than deserves the title track designation. “Masters of Nothing” is probably the slowest moving song on the release and one of the lengthiest at over nine minutes.

While an obvious pattern is emerging for the album’s material, there are two tracks that shy away from it. The first is the mid-album instrumental of “Ab Antiquo,” one of the shortest songs on the album (just over two minutes long) and features creepy, atmospheric guitars and piano. The second track to break the mold is “Breaking the Lore” which has a bit of a “Children of the Grave” vibe to it. It’s an up-tempo track that still has plenty of darkness so have no fear you denizens of the doom. The band finishes off God Curse Us with “Den of Serpents,” a song that dives right back into a comfortable pattern of slow, churning riffs for the opening majority of the song before ticking up the tempo a touch an active peak before collapsing back into the depths to finish off the album.

Like I said, this was a tough one to get into at first, but once you recognize the trend and stick it out, God Curse Us ends up delivering a solid, meaty slab of doom with just enough variation to keep from stagnating in it’s own shallow, polluted lake. This is an album that I found works best as a background while I’m driving or working on some code — it’s enough to keep things fresh without completely distracting.