Witching returns to stir up trouble.
Formed in 2017 in the USA, the band released its first EP the following year, followed by a debut independent album in 2020. In 2023, Jacqui Powell (vocals), Nate Zagrimanis (guitar) and Tatiana Buonassisi (bass), recently joined by Hazel Whitman (guitar) and Samantha Hyla (drums), signed to Translation Loss Records for the release of Incendium, their second album.
Former band members Miles Ziskind (drums) and Lev Ziskind (guitar) are credited for their respective instruments.
Last You, Fell From Divinity opens with a gentle, haunting, clean-sounding melody, but the heavy saturation takes over again with grimy Old School patterns and piercing screams. Abrasive Black Metal roots strike as the banshee unleashes her vocals, before transforming into a slow lament on From Beneath with an oppressive, occult Sludge/Doom mix that suddenly breaks right in the middle of the track. Soothing tones appear, and the vocalist is finally possessed again as the atmosphere grows heavier before Incendium, the eponymous track, picks up speed again, letting dissonance reign in the background, under sometimes plaintive howls. There are a few quieter and more soothing passages, but they’re always troubled before we reach A Grave Mistake, which unveils livelier riffs, soothed by clean vocals between two waves of ferocity. The central break offers intriguing sonorities that the band skilfully plays with before finally returning to raw rage, followed by the heady tones of Prowling Oblivion, which suddenly ignite thanks to the fury of the explosive cocktail that is as thick as sharp, letting the band pour all its savagery into this track. Damnation also gets off to a fairly slow start, but as we’ve all come to expect, the vocalist adds a darker touch before being followed by the other musicians with intoxicating Stoner accents that turn into more tortured sounds on So Young, So Useless, the final track, which also adds the usual heaviness to its hellish rhythm dominated by infernal howls.
Witching is a discovery for me. Between Black Metal’s raw fury, Sludge’s heaviness and Stoner/Doom’s catchy influences, the band offers with Incendium a condensed blend of violence sprinkled with calm, where screams and clean vocals come together naturally.