Vera : A new constellation was born early 2015 in Scottish Edinburgh: King Witch. Their heavy mix of old school metal and seventies rock includes doom laden occultism, while any blues influences can also be detected. We instantly think of bands like Alunah and Blues Pills, but King Witch has quite a different approach, with the expressive female singer (Laura Donnelly) and guitarist Jamie Gilchrist as leading eye-catchers.
Initially they released the EP ‘Shoulders Of Giants’ to see the reactions. Next they recorded this full length debut ‘Under The Mountain’ in Gilchrist’s studio, but for the mix and mastering they worked together with Tom Dring in his Vagrant Recordings Studios. The band has proper live experiences, they even played at Sweden Rock Festival. What about this debut? Well, it is vintage rock with heavy riffs and fervent guitar solos, but vocals are a matter of taste. Female vocalist Laura Donnelly is compared with Janis Joplin, but I would rather mention the quivering, echoing vocal parts of Grace Slick if we have to make a comparison with the sixties. These vocals sound ultimate forced and exaggerating. After few songs you already get tired of it. Sharp high-pitched shrieks all over. Every song is regaled with those ‘speed metal’ yells and in the end that’s no fun. The biggest influences of the band are obviously Candlemass and Black Sabbath, which can be noticed in the slower paced ‘Approaching The End’ with its beautiful guitar leads. Also the calm, bluesy ‘Ancients’ is a moment of relief, but for the rest there is loads of room for improvement on their next albums.