One of Seattle’s best-kept secrets, Witch Ripper will release their debut album Homestead tomorrow via DHU Records. It comes a long six years after their critically acclaimed debut EP self-titled EP and doesn’t represent a huge stylistic shift from that release either. With hot tones, a mix of smoky clean singing and impassioned barks, and shifting time signatures, Witch Ripper have an accessible sound equally adept at delivering hooks and crushing riffs and always have. On the six proper songs on Homestead, though, every individual piece of the band’s sound gets a chance to shine.
In their most comfortable mode, the band evoke favorable comparisons to Mastodon’s powerful early work. While it seems a little disingenuous to compare a small and until recently unsigned band to one of the most popular American metal bands of the last fifteen years, Witch Ripper seem to invite the association, and unlike most bands that do, every piece of the performance is tastefully executed.
The complex rhythmic pieces of their music never come across as overly mathy or stodgy. Witch Ripper have no qualms about dropping into a little D-beat and just letting their songs pummel, either. “Swarm” and the aptly named “Sucker Punch” show an adept moshy hardcore side to the group. This ought to come as no surprise since vocalist and guitarist Curtis Parker pulled double duty as bassist in grinders Fucked and Bound on their Decibel-approved debut LP.
Some of that outfit’s classist fury has made it to Witch Ripper as well: “S.L.U. (the Hive)” refers to Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, which houses the headquarters of Amazon. Taking shots at that company and its employees has become something of a local musician prerequisite, but few bands do so with the dive-bombing fury Witch Ripper have on Homestead.
9/13 Spokane WA at The Checkerboard
9/14 Kalispell MT at Old School records
9/15 Boise ID at The Shredder
9/17 Salt Lake City UT at Urban Loiunge
9/18 Albuquerque NM at Moonlight Lounge
9/19 El Paso TX at RCBG
9/20 Tucson AZ at Cans
9/21 Pheonix AZ at Yucca
9/22 San Diego CA at Towerbar
9/23 Los Angelas CA at Five Star Bar
9/24 San Francisco CA at Elbow Room
9/25 Sacramento CA at Blue Lamp
9/26 Eureka CA at Sirens Song Tavern
9/27 Eugen OR at Hi Fi Lounge
9/28 Portland OR at Roseland Theater