Dread Witch - Leech - Song Review - Sludge / Doom Metal from Aarhus, Denmark

Dread Witch - Leech - Song Review - Sludge / Doom Metal from Aarhus, Denmark

Today, I am diving into the chaotic world of a promising Danish sludge/doom metal band, Dread Witch, hailing from Aarhus. Their song; Leech is my focus today, the third track from their debut studio album, "Tower of the Severed Serpent," released on January 27, 2023.

DREAD WITCH - Leech (Official Video) | Bottomless Pit

Directed, lighted, shot and edited by Ulrik Haenschke Østergaard Frederiksen in a matter of hours, the video is a declaration of love to the underground and DIY scene.

The Wanderer was played by Dino Copelj

"Leech" mixed and mastered by Tue MadsenDrums engineered and recorded by Ole MadsenAdditional drum engineering by Kasper Sørensen

Another Mental Monday, another unpredictable new week of horror, darkness, and suffering, musically represented by Dread Witch. On this very special day, I am welcoming a new band that caught my attention about four months ago for their impressive conceptual work, Leech, together with their impressive retro visuals, done by a talented studio I have been following for years, Branca Studio. I remember it only took a few seconds for me to recognize their potential, and today, after delving deeper into their music and learning more about the band, my appreciation has only grown.

I was introduced to dark Scandinavian vibes by Opeth many years ago and it has become a part of my world ever since. Although I haven't gravitated towards doom metal before, Dread Witch here reminded me of sounds that left a mark in my memory for their foundation; the Russian/Finnish doom metal monsters; Курск (Kursk) and the Swedish doom metal collective, Cavern Deep. All these bands share a promising and visionary concept in common, now including these Danish gentlemen from Aarhus.

Leech first caught my attention due to its mind-blowing sound design and production. The foundation here stands on two pillars, sludge, and doom metal. The producer has masterfully crafted a two-dimensional dark world that brings movie soundtracks to memory, giving life to a timeless-sounding debut for these Danish gentlemen. The sound character perfectly matches Dread Witch’s strengths, making them sound angrier, darker, and incredibly atmospheric, but more importantly, consistently at their finest performances. The movie soundtrack approach to this project played a crucial role and turned everything into a dark world that we, the listeners, find ourselves in while listening. Although I am familiar with music with a dark concept, "Tower of the Severed Serpent" is special for being faithful to its metal origins, using no element of electronic music in its entirety, as represented perfectly on its visuals.

The musical DNA of the band is embedded in two primary genres; sludgy death metal and dark, atmospheric doom metal. The collective has displayed enough expertise and experience to shape their distinctive musical identity, drawing from what makes them the most special. This not only supports their conceptual idea musically, but it also underscores their individual talents. In this case, the vocalist, Mikael Rise, stands out for his fantastic performances. I personally loved his energy, anger, attitude, and toning throughout the song. His emotions flawlessly represented the necessary character of the dynamic story, acting as an actor and storyteller rather than just a singer, and I am sure his contributions to the metal world will be highly appreciated.

Dread Witch, band graphicPhoto credit: Branca Studio

Despite being thoroughly impressed by Dread Witch and their visionary work, I restrained myself from listening to other songs from the album to maintain the clarity of my perspective. After listening to Leech today many times on repeat, I couldn't resist the feeling of a risk; getting overwhelmed by the heavy atmosphere in the music.

Dread Witch, band graphicPhoto credit: Branca Studio

In conclusion, the experience the Dread Witch concept was nothing short of fantastic for me, and Leech earned its place in our Strongly Recommended Metal category. A captivating dark concept full of hate, anger, and horror with slow-burning dark energy, heavy Scandinavian vibes, and world class production, incorporating sludge, death, and doom metal. Thanks for reading this further.

"Tower of the Severed Serpent"Released January 27, 2023

CreditsMixed and mastered by Tue MadsenDrums recorded and engineered by Ole MadsenAdditional drum engineering by Kasper SørensenVocals recorded at Mikael's placeGuitars, bass and keys recorded at Dom WariatówArtwork by Branca StudioMusic and lyrics by Andreas Cadaver

Dread Witch is...Mikael Rise - vocals and guitarDennis Larsen - drumsAndreas Cadaver - guitarLeifur Nielsen - bassPelle Santana - lead guitar

Excessive amounts of thanks to Dennis, Mikael, Ole, Kasper, Ulrik Haenschke, Dino Copelj, Pol Abran, Tue Madsen, Kamila, Sofus

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