To enter the world of Witchsorrow is to enter the tiresome depths of doom and despair without a lantern. The shadowy triad has amassed an assortment of slow-moving, down-tuned hopelessness all over their God Curse Us, a bleak record if there ever was one.
This is the follow-up to the band’s 2010 self-titled debut and it pitilessly continues their mission to carry on the darkness set in motion by Black Sabbath in the 1970s. The Black Death brought about by Witchsorrow carries a lot of resemblance to what Ozzy and the gang were up to way back when. Fans of the Paranoid days should find something to chew on with God Curse Us.
“I just want to carry on what Sabbath started,” says guitarist and vocalist 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.”
The band’s colour, which is obviously black, is fleshed out by bassist and pianist Emily Witch along with drummer Wilbrahammer.
There is little doubting the fact that Witchsorrow takes their doom metal very seriously. The entire record is awash in darkness and despondency. The band’s desire to be seen as carriers of the torch is apparent with every sluggish, steady song.
If there’s a risk here, it’s that Witchsorrow takes themselves too seriously. Despite an insistence to the contrary, the band seems a few shades of grey away from running into a full-on caricature of themselves. The technical proficiency is on target, but the protracted and tiresome songs don’t really work black magic. Necroskull’s voice is gritty and cold, but he comes off like a comic book villain or evil wizard.
Those searching for the gloomy side of rock will find it on God Curse Us. Songs like “Megiddo” and the plodding “Aurora Atra” are so sludgy they could sink in a mud pit, while “Den of Serpents” creaks its way through a dozen minutes of doom.
Only “Breaking the Lore” shifts the tempo, driving through with Necroskull’s gravel-pelted tone and a few killer riffs. It’s the only song that doesn’t abide by a laboured stride.
Witchsorrow’s commitment to doom is apparent in every drawn-out moment, without question, but there’s not much else to be found on God Curse Us. This isn’t a very inventive or enthralling record. It is caked in incessant murkiness and despondency, but the sludge and solemnity is often too thick to take seriously.