WITCH RIPPER - The Flight After the Fall
Album: The Flight After the Fall
Genre: Melodic Sludge Metal
Release Date: March 3rd, 2023
Label: Magnetic Eye Records
The dramatic intensity of metal is a natural fit for immersive, multi-sensory storytelling, and Seattle-based melodic sludge band WITCH RIPPER go for the jugular by plotting a course for the center of the universe. Their new album “The Flight After the Fall”, which is out on March 3rd, 2023 via Magnetic Eye Records, tells the story of a mad scientist and his dying wife, who flee earth in deep freeze to seek out a cure for her illness, including cryogenic chambers, a black hole as well as themes like love, failure, loss, and acceptance.
Looking at the track list and their lengths, which shows "only" 5 songs but all over 7 minutes, and the great finale clocking in with nearly 17, we have a first sign this could probably also move into a proggy direction ;-) But anyway, "The Flight After the Fall" is best listened from front to back to get the full experience.
The journey begins with "Enter the Loop", cinematic, mystic soundscapes and soaring guitars. The drums join soon, and I immediately fell in love with their full sound, that will accompany us over the whole record. Bass and vocals add the sludge elements with their rather rough but very fitting performance, bright synths in the background bring in a kind of space movie-feeling.
Next up is "Madness and Ritual Solitude", which is clearly one of my highlights here because of its mighty drum intro, the huge riffs that follow, and the wild instrumental interplays. The vocals alternate between screamed and sung, often multi-layered and powerful in their expression.
The crazy space-trip continues with many twists and turns. "The Obsidian Forge" starts beautifully atmospheric, gives me strong SOLUM vibes first, then moves into rougher fields again, and so does "Icarus Equation". There's a lot happening between heavy guitar work, accessible melodies, marvelous instrumental parts, and an incredibly varied rhythmic. They close the album with "Everlasting in Retrograde Pt. 1&2", during which they bring all these ingredients once more to the table, woven into each other in a great way.
With their diverse, rather progressive song-writing and their mostly sludgy sound, WITCH RIPPER created an interesting mix and a great listening fun. The crazy, space-themed story-line offers many opportunities for creativity, and they really know how to transform this musically. Even though they lose a bit of the initial high dynamic towards the end, there's still a lot to enjoy during the great finale. "The Flight After the Fall" came out of nowhere for me (maybe out of a black hole?...), and I have to admit I almost overlooked this wonderful album because of the "sludge" tag - But I'm glad I did not, and hope you won't either :-)
Written by Katha
Joseph Eck - Drums
Chad Fox - Guitar/Vocals
Brian Kim - Bass
Curtis Parker - Guitar/Vocals
1. Enter the Loop
2. Madness and Ritual Solitude
3. The Obsidian Forge
4. Icarus Equation
5 .Everlasting in Retrograde Pt. I & II
Witch Ripper (EP) - 2012
Homestead - 2018
The Flight After the Fall - 2023