Wormwitch - Heaven That Dwells Within
Prosthetic Records
Blackened Melodic Death
10 songs (45:36)
Release year: 2019
Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Vancouver, trio Wormwitch play a form of melodic death metal that is heavily spiritually indebted to At The Gates and Dissection, with a hefty dose of crusty black metal woven through. The result is a solid enough album, although probably appealing more to newcomers to the aforementioned duo than those fully familiar with them. Wormwitch play their instruments well and craft songs with enough hooks to make a memorable listen, even infusing Heaven That Dwells Within with an epic atmosphere that comes to the fore on early highlight Vernal Womb. Added acoustic guitar around the beginning and end of the song gives a classy feel, while the crust-infused melodic death riffing takes the lead and some gang-shouted vocals enhance the chorus. It speeds up to a blackened torrent around two minutes in, backing clean vocals adding to a Watain-esque vibe, and by the time the nearly six-minute long track is over it just demands relistens.

That Watain influence is clear in several places but it's interesting to hear how the band utilise it, say, as a combination with more crust punk gallops in Two Wolves or in a more melodic death fusion a la Benighted Blade. And although a lot of songs have a similar feel, the likes of Midnight Sun do stand out thanks to more gang-shouts and infectiously groovy riffs. The extended acoustic and clean-sung intro to Dancing in the Ashes is a welcome change-up, as is the sped-up blackened tempo of Lord of Chains although some initially technical riffing could have been built on a little more. As a whole the standard is kept high throughout the second half of the album, late highlight Iron Woman having a touch of Opeth and one of the best solos throughout. Not all tracks are equally impactful, Spirit Braid for example not particularly standing out from the crowd and finale Alone Before the Doors of the Silent House failing to change the formula up. Yet by and large this is a solid, interesting listen from a band that can and probably will do better in future; a little less At the Gates and a little more crust, and Heaven That Dwells Within would have been truly outstanding.

Killing Songs :
Vernal Womb, Midnight Sun, Dancing in the Ashes, Iron Woman
Goat quoted 70 / 100
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