In times of uncertainty and the alarming global pandemic that we find ourselves in, doom metal can provide a fitting soundtrack as well as offer an escape and a source of comfort. Witchkiss released their latest EP for these reasons. The band hopes listeners will find solace in Transformation. The New York trio specializes in ominous female vocals intermixed with brutal growls while creating groove worthy doom instrumentation. Their craft is perfectly encapsulated in this two-track EP.
Transformation begins with “Splitting Teeth” which begins ever so softly with quiet whirring that slowly builds to doomy guitar and eerie vocals before breaking into steady drumming and wicked riffs. Harsh vocals are introduced about halfway through the track along with aggressive drumming and heavier guitar work. Clean vocals are sprinkled throughout in an almost chant-like fashion. “Transformation from desolation” are lyrics repeated throughout which are perfectly fitting and relatable.
The following (and remaining) track of the EP, “Empty Hands,” also begins softly with a bit of atmospheric instrumentation starting distant then approaching slowly as to build on the eerie atmosphere. The vocals are introduced a little later in this track—almost two minutes in—giving the listeners time to enjoy the trio’s talented technical work before showcasing Amber Burns’ enchanting vocals.
A special bonus track is included when Transformation is purchased on Bandcamp so be sure to support and nab that extra track. This release is exactly what I needed in this dark time from a talented trio that entrances through their music. They’ve used this time of isolation to engineer a creative album that’s as much a doom statement as it is an emotional response. I can’t get enough of this band and will be eagerly awaiting their next release.