Hailing from Berlin-via-Brighton, Esben and the Witch have amassed a number of accolades since their formation. The trio has drawn attention for the dark, brooding soundscapes that fill their albums, supported by Rachel Davies’ hypnotic vocals.
The good news is that Esben and the Witch did it again on Older Terrors, the dark atmospheric rock group’s first album with Season of Mist. Older Terrors is often quiet and pensive, at times letting nothing but Davies’ voice drift through the silence, but Esben and the Witch also aren’t shy about injecting distorted riffs that keep Older Terrors interesting.
Esben and the Witch set a languid pace to the album. Older Terrors never gets fast, but it never gets lost in its slower pace either. The album’s highlights undoubtedly come in the form of Davie’s powerful vocal performance — just listen to the end of album opener “Sylvan” to get the idea.
“Older Terrors was written over the course of a year in our adopted home of Berlin,” the band says. “It began life in a basement, just Rachel and a bass guitar and sprawled out from there. We spent last winter fleshing these songs out in our rehearsal space up in an old tower block and in April we finally recorded them at a studio in the centre of the city. In this digital age we wanted to create an album that contained four tracks that would work as a whole but that could also be separated and stand alone. Each one carving its own path.”
“This record is dedicated to the sublime,” they continue. “To Edward Young’s Night-Thoughts, John Martin’s apocalyptic visions, Caspar David Friedrich’s forays into the forest and to the sparks of light that glimmer in times of utter darkness.”
Season of Mist will release Older Terrors on November 4, so if you like what you heard, you can support the band with a preorder here.