Formed in 2016, Witnesses is a New York-based project created by band mastermind Greg Schwan. While their first several releases contained pensive and promising ambient, 2019’s To disappear and to be nothing revealed a band with cross-genre pursuits. Between that album and the fittingly titled Doom II, Witnesses employed metallic elements while retaining their cinematic, widescreen songwriting. Now Witnesses have a new EP (The Holy Water) approaching, and it’s an emotive blend of the band’s disparate influences. Today Decibel Magazine shares the lyric video for their new single “Cloistered in Purfleet,” ahead of the EP’s July 15th release date.
Across seven and a half minutes, “Cloistered in Purfleet” shapeshifts from unsettling ambient to a sound that’s equal parts Peaceville doom and post-metal. Vocalist Gabbi Coenen conveys loss and longing as the song’s deconstructed gothic narrative unfolds. Once the track approaches four minutes, the song surrenders to heavy distortion for its foundational crunch. The composition deftly uses striking dynamic shifts to keep the listener engaged. A late-song piano line claws its way to the forefront of the din. But the delicate melody is swiftly crushed by more guitars.
“”Cloistered in Purfleet” is the complement to [album opener] “Borgo Pass,” and it’s my take on [Bram] Stoker’s Mina Harker character,” shares Witnesses mastermind Greg Schwan. “This song pushes further into the atmospheric side of Witnesses, which was a goal for the EP overall. Hope you enjoy it.”
Sink your fangs into “Cloistered in Purfleet” by pressing play below.