Wednesday 25 January 2023

Dread Witch - Tower of The Severed Serpent (Album Review)

Release Date: January 27th 2023. Record Label: Bottomless Pit / Gateway Music. Formats: DD

Tower Of The Severed Serpent: Tracklisting

The Tower

Serpent God



Into The Crypt



Mikael Rise - Vocals

Dennis Larsen - Drums

Andreas Cadaver - Guitars, Bass and Keys


Tower Of The Severed Serpent is the new album from Danish Doom/Sludge Metallers Dread Witch and like their name suggests, the band bring a sense of bleak heaviness to this album but also being quite inventive wit their progressive and trippy psychedelic sounds they bring to the album. The PR Sheet that accompanied this release stated this album would appeal to fans of CONAN, Triptykon and Devin Townsend. That is perhaps the best way to describe Dread Witch down to a fine art.

As this album matches the bleak monolithic Doom/Sludge grooves that CONAN are known for whilst bringing a warped Progressive creative spirit into the album that have a Devin Townsend edge to them. Tower Of The Severed Spirit is quite riff-centric which you can hear on the stunning opening track The Tower which fuses down-tuned Sludgy guitars and gloomy Doom sounds for a slight WEEDIAN and FUZZY based song. The vocals from Mikael are aggressive, harsh and bleak but they're very easy to understand. So you can hear all the bleak thoughts the band have written for this track. The song is quite intense with Dread Witch playing a wicked style of Psych Doom with flashes of a Post-Sludge environment that grows bitterly cold towards the end of the song. 

Second song Serpent God continues with the slightly experimental Sludge/Doom Metal sound with a menacing backline showing brief glimpses of a more extreme style of music waiting to appear. The music is down-tuned yet again but with a fresher sound that Dread Witch impresses even further when blending Psychedelic soundscapes that have a warped cinematic feel. There's a cool sideline of Thrash Metal appearing within this track and when the band start using distorted soundclips then Dread Witch brings a more OCCULT based presence to this track. This is a creepy and unsettling track which allows Dread Witch to show a more sinister and sadistic side to the band. This is one of the most challenging and perhaps most interesting tracks to listen to from a creative point of view.

Third song Leech has an entirely different feel at the start with Dread Witch employing a Post-Doom or Post-Rock environment before moving back to their primal Doom/Sludge Metal sound. The song still remains vastly different to the opening two tracks with Mikael's vocals having a bleak sense of despair to them. The music is more chaotic and offers a more modern based Psych Doom Metal vibe with an Ambient style of music allowing the band to become a band that thrives upon taking bold creative risks. This is where perhaps the Devin Townsend influence strongly comes into play as the song is a wicked collection of different sounds, themes and harsh environments. 

The second half of the album carries on the twisted experimental vibe of the first half with Dread Witch excelling even further with highly volatile down-tuned Sludge grooves with a despairing and seedy FUZZY presence on tracks such as Wormtongue and Into The Crypt. The album perhaps becomes more Death Metal based with the vocals and riffs starting to drift further into the more extreme side of metal but still offering the Sludge/Doom Metal purists plenty of great moments to lose themselves in.

The major surprise of the album has to be on the final track Severed which is a superbly played and wholly intimate Instrumental song where Dread Witch play moments of Ambient Metal, Psych Rock, Sludge Metal and Doom Metal with a less chaotic presence. The song is worthy of closing the album with Dread Witch playing some of the album's most interesting sounds on this track alone.

Tower Of The Severed Serpent oozes creative style from start to finish with Dread Witch playing a multitude of different sounds within the Doom/Sludge Metal realm. 

Dread Witch are an exciting band from the Doom/Sludge Metal underground scene and you can expect to hear top-level experimental sounds on this album. The album also benefits from excellent production values that allows Dread Witch to have more depth to their overall sound which also helps this album to be a refreshing change of pace from other Doom/Sludge Metal albums currently being released.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Dread Witch for the promo.

Tower Of The Severed Serpent will be available to buy DD via Bottomless Pit and Gateway Music from January 27th 2023.


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