Earlier this year, back in May, we told you about a band from Canberra, Australia, releasing a teaser for their forthcoming debut record through a Quick Hit. We were excited for what Witchskull had to offer, and after finally getting to hear their debut album, we have to applaud the Aussies for exceeding all of our expectations: The Vast Electric Dark is stunning!
The record opens with the same two tracks featured on the beginning of their teaser record (‘The Vast Electric Dark’ and ‘Temple of Ly’s’) showing exactly what this band is about; short groove-laden doom carved along a classic rock mould with an ear for a riff or two. The trio play tight, blues undertoned rock that ticks all of the right boxes. One of the main things that will make this band stand above others is with the refreshing clean vocals of Marcus De Pasquale. If you take a track such as ‘Raise The Dead’, where normally darkened despair masquerades the vocals to give the song its doom edge, Witchskull simply crank up the bass and down tune the guitars, so that Marcus’ vocals can be the shining light, the thing that highlights the darkness in the song. Hell, you can take your pick out of any of the songs here and come out with the same results, it makes for an exciting listen through the all too short record.
‘World’s Away’ is a frenetic juggernaut of riffs with vocals that can barely contain their passion, ‘Harvest Of The Druid’ is the song Ronnie James Dio is currently wishing he made on the other side of the grave, and ‘Cassandra’s Curse’ is a balls-to-the-wall classic blues doom rock assault on the senses.
The Vast Electric Dark, when all is said and done, a truly awesome record, faultless throughout, and destined to make many end of year lists very soon!