Album Review: King Witch – Under the Mountain

Scotland based doom band King Witch releases the follow-up to their debut EP with their debut full-length album, ‘Under the Mountain’. An incredible mixture of thrash metal with heavy doom undertones, King Witch delivers their own unique take on doom metal with this one. This record is very reminiscent of works such as ‘Among the Living’ by Anthrax and ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest. It’s a very dark ambiance that stays within its intense thrash roots while fusing doom undertones to the high-speed music.

This album opens on killer notes, the absolute wrecker in ‘Beneath the Waves’ preceding the incredible ‘Carnal Sacrifice’, which sets the tone for a ripper of an album. From front to back, King Witch assaults with a darkened ambiance, an underbelly of doom that allows the thrash sensibilities to shine a deep darkness. King Witch is able to bring a slow darkness to their metal without sacrificing any of the intensities that come with the flavors of thrash they choose to incorporate.

Now, that is not to say that there aren’t classically-styled doom tracks within Under the Mountain; there’s a sweet mixture of the doomy-thrash and straight-forward, soft-tempo that comes with doom. The ‘Painkiller’ styled doom-speed of ‘Under the Mountain’ energizes the record with a freshness not too often seen within general doom scene. King Witch is able to translate the bleak ferocity of doom metal with the speed-intensity of thrash, and because of that you end up with one hell of a record.

It’s always a pleasure to see a band fuse two distinct, near opposing styles of metal to create one ultimate beast. It’s not often you see doom and thrash melded with such efficiency, the style of King Witch is very smooth, and very powerful. ‘Under the Mountain’ is an experience that will pound your skull in like an oil-drill until it hits the base of your brain, seeping all of its sludgy, oily doom metal into your mind until you’re infected by the disease known as King Witch.

‘Under the Mountain’ is a fantastic debut record by a fantastic band, King Witch offers a none-too-often seen blend of doom and thrash which is comparable to the thrash scene of the late ’80s. This isn’t to say that this style that King Witch returns to the fold has been unseen since the days of ‘Among the Living’ and ‘Painkiller’, it’s only that it often is not as natural and refined as King Witch brings to the table.

King Witch is one of the few bands in modern memory to take the darkened ambiance/doom-speed of decades past. ‘Under the Mountain’ brings a multitude of high-intensity tracks under the umbrella of doom-thrash; each track bringing its own piece of actualization to the vision of King Witch.

The vision brought to us with ‘Under the Mountain’, by King Witch, is a vision I can indulge myself in time and time again.

– by Ryan Falla

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Listenable
Release Date: March 16 2018

Track Listing:
1. Beneath The Waves (5:20)
2. Carnal Sacrifice (3:34)
3. Solitary (6:15)
4. Under The Mountain (4:34)
5. Approaching The End (6:43)
6. Ancients (3:34)
7. Hunger (5:46)
8. Possession (3:51)
9. Black Dog Blues (3:28)

Total Duration: 43:05

King Witch links: facebook | instagram

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