The Flight After the Fall

Witch Ripper

The Seattle, Washington-based sludge metal outfit, WITCH RIPPER, has just released their second full-length album, […]
March 27, 2023
Witch Ripper - The Flight After the Fall album cover

The Seattle, Washington-based sludge metal outfit, WITCH RIPPER, has just released their second full-length album, "The Flight After The Fall," on Magnetic Eye Records. This album is forty-seven minutes long across five tracks. I am a big fan of long, ever-evolving tracks and, on that front, this album delivers. The first track, "Enter The Loop," sounds like a combination of BARONESS and early MASTODON. After a droning cosmic intro, the first riff begins to play. The riffs on this album are excellent, which is a must for all noteworthy sludge metal bands. There are both clean and growled vocals on this track, with the majority of them being of the clean variety. Both lead guitar solos sound excellent. All in all, this song is a great album opener.

Track three, "The Obsidian Forge," also starts with a sci-fi intro, but, in this case, the body of the song explodes with another stellar riff. It could have easily been a cut track from MASTODON's "Crack The Skye" album. The growled vocals sound a lot like Scott Kelly's work with NEUROSIS in the 90s. I found the song's chorus to be uplifting. The lead guitar solo starts with some nice wails before transitioning into some serious shredding. The final track, "Everlasting In Retrograde Pts I & II," is a hulking behemoth of a song. It is almost seventeen minutes long, without dragging at all. The riffs are on point and the entire opus is an epic endeavor. Clean vocals give way to growls and the music ebbs and flows at an accessible pace. The first part leans more toward MASTODON's sound and part two sounds more like a TOOL song, especially concerning the bass line. The finale is full of vocals with reverb, followed by another killer lead guitar solo that gives way to a huge swell with soaring instrumentation. "Everlasting In Retrograde Pts I & II" is a microcosm of the musical and thematic concepts explored in "The Flight After The Fall."

My only complaint is that the music sounds derivative. The meat of every track sounds too much like MASTODON. Granted, the songs sound like the music that MASTODON performed from "Leviathan" through "Crack The Skye." That being said, this is still an enjoyable album and the derivation is most likely reflective of the current sound of sludge metal as a whole. Fans of the aforementioned bands in this review will find plenty to love on this album. There isn't a single bad track or misstep, which is a feat when the average song length is around eight minutes. The lack of innovation, or even deviation from the expected sludge sound is unfortunate.

7 / 10









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"The Flight After the Fall" Track-listing:

1. Enter the Loop
2. Madness and Ritual Solitude
3. The Obsidian Forge
4. Icarus Equation
5. Everlasting in Retrograde Pts I & II

Witch Ripper Lineup:

Joe Eck - Drums
Curtis Parker - Vocals, Guitars
Coltan Anderson - Guitars
Brian Kim - Bass

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