Witchbreed
Heretic Rapture


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 29th, 2009 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Female-fronted gothic rock that focuses on heaviness and great riffs.

Only hardcore fans would recognize the name “Ares” as one of the original members of Moonspell. He played bass on all of their demos up through 1996’s Irreligious, and had a hand in the band’s musical evolution to that point. For whatever reason, though, he left after that release and seemed to disappear from music - at least on any global scale. After about ten years he finally formed another band in 2006 and it was with cautious optimism that I looked forward to hearing their debut album, Heretic Rapture. I use the word “cautious” because initial reports seemed to indicate that he had started his own female-fronted gothic rock band. People familiar with the genre have to acknowledge that for every good gothic rock band there are at least a dozen that are terrible, and furthermore, even most of the good bands aren’t known for anything more than their vocalists. It turns out that Witchbreed’s debut manages to avoid most of the genre’s clichés, but also still needs a bit of work in other areas.

Heretic Rapture has a few really good things going for it – chief among them is their solid musicianship and adherence to a truly heavy sound. The band may be broadly categorized as gothic rock but they’re definitely more than that. The basis of their sound lays in heavy, blackened riffs that push the songs forward in a powerful manner and alleviates the need for any keyboard overcompensation. The percussion only serves to further the heaviness with rolling double-bass fills and inventive patterns that consistently keep the songs sounding fresh. All of this would be for naught if the band had gone the route of finding a run-of-the-mill, pseudo-operatic female vocalist that couldn’t match the heaviness of the music but that is simply not the case. Their vocalist (Ruby) can definitely sing, but she belts out her lines in a commanding and modern style that in no way emulates the fluff of your common gothic rock vocalist. Her great singing voice is also complimented with some very strong growls that are used sparingly to push the aggressive nature of a few of the songs. Unfortunately, despite the great music and powerful vocals everything is not perfect.

The album’s main drawback is that they haven’t entirely learned how to integrate the heavy music with the catchy choruses. The choruses often completely throw off the power and the groove of the music by forcing things down a notch in order to let the hook take precedence. These musical changes aren’t generally very subtle and they destroy the flow of many of the songs. Keep in mind that the songs themselves aren’t destroyed by the loss of intensity but it’s a noticeable element that, once fixed, could put this band in a league of their own. The other issue is that many of the choruses sound much too similar and end up causing the second half of the album to drop in quality despite the songs being great on their own. Other than the issues surrounding the choruses, the only other problem is that the band included a few songs that don’t work as well as the others and could have probably been left off. Doing so would have not only cut down on the repetitive feeling created by the choruses, but would have also improved the flow of the album overall.

Despite some minor issues, Witchbreed have released a great album that sets itself apart by making musicianship and heavy riffs the focal point of every song. Ruby’s powerful vocals that don’t succumb to operatic fluff and a general lack of overbearing keyboards complete the band’s sound in a stylish fashion. This is an album for those that have grown tired of the same generic sound from every female-fronted metal band, and for those that have been turned off by the glaring lack of good riffs from those same bands. With Heretic Rapture, Witchbreed have set a standard for themselves that with a little tweaking could place them at the top of the genre, but for now this is a good start.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://www.myspace.com/witchbreed

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I enjoy some gothic every once-in-a-while so I think I'll go and visit that myspace. I am definitely not a big fan of female growls though so we'll see.

good review as always

Wizard
June 29th 2009


19443 Comments


I read the summary and was completely turned off hahahaha. Sorry dude. I know Balls will jerk off to this though.

Doing so would have not only cut down on the repetitive feeling created by the choruses, but would have also improved the flow of the album overall.

This is my biggest problem with these types of bands. I have no idea if it's the female singer or what, but the choruses all sound the same.

Excellent review is an excellent review.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Metalstyles: She doesn't growl at all, someone else does.

@Wizard: yeah, a lot of the gothic rock bands suffer from repetitive choruses. Also, I agree that Balls will probably lve this.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sorry Trey, but what I heard from their myspace, was really run-of-the-mill goth rock, I'm afraid that this won't stick with me.

Wizard
June 29th 2009


19443 Comments


I will still give a song or two off this a go, because you are so cute Willie.

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't honestly know what's on their Myspace, but to me it's only really the chouses that give them that generic feeling.

Wizard
June 29th 2009


19443 Comments


I do like good riffing, blackened in some areas as you've described, so it sounds worth my time.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


17920 Comments


is that girl pregnant on the kross

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well Trey, on their myspace they had the songs "The Eclipse" and "Children Of The Damned". The latter was boring as hell, but as I see it isn't on this cd anyway, first song was ok, but just ok. Now if you will tell me that "The Eclipse" was one of the weakest songs then I could investigate further, if it was one of the best tracks, then thanks but I'll pass

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm so cute??? Awkward...

Ha ha, yeah you might ad well give it a shot. You'll only lose a few minutes if you don't like it.

BallsToTheWall
June 29th 2009


44477 Comments


The hits keep on freaking coming. I suppose i'll burn my self out today with music.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@metalstyles: I wouldn't say it's their best but I also don't consider that song one of their bad ones.

@Balls: I think you'll appreciate this like I do.

- Sorry for the delayed responses. I'm responding on my phone at red lights.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

alright, i guess I'll go and check out some more songs before making up my mind whether I should or shouldn't look the whole album up.

BallsToTheWall
June 29th 2009


44477 Comments


Rebel Blood wasnt that great but will look into this further.

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, I've had this for about 4 weeks so maybe that has something to do with my more positive opnion.

Edit: I was kind of on the fence about this album my first few listens too.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

naah, no good, this won't stick with me. It ain't bad, but too ordinary and somewhat bland.

Wizard
June 29th 2009


19443 Comments


I'm so cute??? Awkward...

Dude, you're so much better than other girls I've approached with that line.

- Sorry for the delayed responses. I'm responding on my phone at red lights.

So illegal in Canada hahaha.

feav233
June 30th 2009


1411 Comments


not something i think i am going to check out

jingledeath
June 30th 2009


7104 Comments


great review man, this looks cool. i'll check out the my space material



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