IBP220_Jacket_3mmSpine.inddWitchrist are based out of New Zealand and that’s about as much as I know about them. I guess I really don’t need to know their life story as it’s their music at hand not their personal memoirs. This offering is a collection of three tracks presented as a 12” EP titled “Vritra”. I have been enjoying some black metal from that part of the country of late and their location is one of the things that caught my interest.

This one opens with ‘Haruspex’, which starts rather slow and has a gritty doom style vibe starting out. It’s not long before the tempo picks up and things get downright serious. This tune transitions into death style metal from here on out. It’s interesting to hear how the drums and guitar make the transition from the intro riffs and beats into the more old school rapid fire death metal style of playing. Vocals on this one are delivered with that growl almost clean type of delivery that compliments the music.

Next in the chamber is ‘Transmuting Rituals’, also a slower intro but much shorter than its predecessor. This one seems to launch on that old school rapid fire death metal trajectory and never really varies from that. A perfect head banger, its right in your face the entire song. Its what you would expect from this style and Witchrist does not disappoint. There is a certain freshness here, you don’t get any old recycled sounds.

The closer, ‘The Golden Ascent’, gives me more of a black metal vibe, not the traditional style but more like you would expect to hear out the US.The guitar riffs in this one are the most unique for these three tracts. They really occupy the space and throw out some unexpected things that keep you interested and wanting more. Another brutally solid track from the southern hemisphere.

A really surprisingly great, albeit small, collection from Witchrist. A hardened blend of different styles of music forged into three solid steel tracks of metal. I have been listening to this on and off for most of the day and I am liking more every time I listen.The only real downside to this whole affair is it’s only three tunes, I would have loved a full length. I can only hope this lot is hold up in New Zealand writing more material for a full length.

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