Distant Kingdoms

Depressive Witches

DEPRESSIVE WITCHES is a French black metal/black 'n' roll band that formed in 2018.  "Distant […]
February 5, 2023
Depressive Witches - Distant Kingdoms album cover

DEPRESSIVE WITCHES is a French black metal/black 'n' roll band that formed in 2018.  "Distant Kingdoms" is their second full length album. This is a very diverse album that incorporates a lot of styles.  Black metal has really grown as a genre over the years and it is always enjoyable when bands take the foundations of it and stretch them beyond what is normally accepted. When listening to "Distant Kingdoms," I never once forgot it was a black metal album.  That is a great thing, of course, but what is even better is the band knows how to hold on to the genre even while they are adding everything and the kitchen sink to the style.

Rock, folk, and even punk can be found within the nine song, forty six minute run time.  The use of clean vocals is also incorporated; I don't have any issues with cleans, even in black metal, and the band makes excellent use of it.  The overall atmosphere of the album gives the feel of adventure and epic journeys, which makes sense considering a lot of the lyrics are fantasy based. This definitely isn't a "cold, heartless, black metal album which professes hate for humanity and love for the endless void" but instead one that embraces the ability to stretch the genre to their own needs.  It results in a serious but fun and jaunty album that strives in being different.

The title track opens the album with rumbling riffs, fast drums, and blackened vocals.  It is a little groovy, the song working its way through with a catchy cadence.  At the 2:23 mark, the vocals ride alongside the beat, casting out some interesting lyrical stanzas.  A short but sweet guitar lead is born out of pummeling riffage before settling back into the groove.  The rock and roll feel to the song definitely works well with its blackened nature. "Oh My Dear Wyvern," opens with big riffs and hammering drums-the band is always ready to throw in bursts of speed or moments of searing brutality but leave just as quickly without making the song disjointed.  The clean vocals around the one minute mark are well placed and sound great, as if they are singing from atop a mountain.

At the 3:05 mark, a slick guitar solo plays over some rather intense guitar...very much a hold school heavy metal feel here!  It is also further proof this band is adept and doing what they want, when they want yet still keeping it all focused and grounded on a particular vision. "Pit Of Goblins," is a massive song with evil riffs that are slow, thick, and hard.  The drums in particular drive the song forward and it all comes together during the mid section which goes from groove to outright blackened fury. "Cancel Your Wedding And Fuck The Witch," is an amazing song title and the song is great too.  A guitar solo leads the song in the beginning moments but also continues to piece the song together in between the lyric stanzas. There is something I just love about the song title being growled out in a blackened screech during the chorus.  How could you not like that?  And to make such a long title work inside the chorus?  Genius.

The final track is the folk influenced "A Land To Lead," which is all clean instrumentation and vocals.  It is a good song to be sure but it doesn't feel like the right song to end the album on, more like an opening track in my opinion.  Still, it's a good song. DEPRESSIVE WITCHES' "Distant Kingdoms," is a fun black metal album from a band that has a lot of confidence in embracing their style.  People who don't normally like black metal should give this one a try.  If you're a hardcore fan, have a little open mind, and you'll find plenty to like here too.

8 / 10









"Distant Kingdoms" Track-listing:

1. Distant Kingdoms
2. In the Hall of the Sleeping King
3. Oh My Dear Wyvern
4. Wizard! Open the Gates!
5. Pit of Goblins
6. Tonight I Will Hide My Heart in Space
7. Forgotten Icebergs
8. Cancel Your Wedding and Fuck the Witch
9. A Land to Lead

Depressive Witches Lineup:

Torvuus - Guitars, Drums
Sick Bab - Vocals, Guitars

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