Sunday, 11 April 2021

REVIEW: Rorcal & Earthflesh, "Witchcoven" [EP]

By: Josh McIntyre
Album Type: EP
Date Released:02/04/2021
Label: Hummus Records

“Witch Coven” CS//CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Altars of Nothingness
2). Happiness Sucks – So Do You

The Review:

 I am always impressed by Rorcal’s ability to be immaculately heavy. I mean it’s pure black bile smashing into your face with the weight of anvils. It melts your eyes and makes you feel smaller, more insignificant as an existential being. The guitars are huge, the drums are huge, the frequencies are huge, and the vocalist (who has one of the best tones in metal) roars like the meanest devil sent to drag you to Hell. Add in Earthflesh, their collaboration partner with this release, and the layers of noise make it sound like being forced into a meat grinder.

Speaking of Hell and devils, these two songs (both around 15 minutes) sound like occult rituals of the most frightening sort. The first song, “Altars of Nothingness”, begins with deep, choir-like vocals that certainly recall religious ceremonies before building up into a vile sludge fest. I’m normally one of those people who views religious and occult themed metal to be played out and cliche but somehow Rorcal and Earthflesh turn out something that really, truly sounds like the soundtrack to someone being set to flames. It isn’t just some band playing rock n’ roll songs about Satan, they manage to bring about an intensity that brings to mind the emotional state of someone in great pain who knows that all they have left in life is pure torment.

It feels as if the first track takes place on Earth, our living realm, while the second half takes place in a Hell-like dimension. Switching to blastbeats and buzzing guitars it sounds like the pure dread of someone falling to their doom, knowing that this is all they have left in life. As the song develops it continuously wavers between these faster parts and back to more doom sections. It feels natural as it flows and when the EP ends the quietness is quite apparent given the last half hour journey.

“Witch Coven” finds a brilliant balance between crushing atmosphere and riff to move the body (particularly the chugging section of the first track). Rorcal is truly at their best when throwing these juxtapositions together. The clean vocals and layers of sound from Earthflesh add to make this a special flavor of extreme music, one that is rich in mindfulness, a focus on emotive feel, and pure devastation.

“Witch Coven” is available HERE

Band info: Rorcal || Earthflesh