Track Premiere: Witnesses – “Joy (Beyond the Sound of My Voice)”

Witnesses Art

Back in 2022, I premiered a track from NYC doom project Witnesses. In that premiere, I commented that multi-instrumentalist Greg Schwan’s approach to doom “shapeshifts from unsettling ambient to a sound that’s equal parts Peaceville doom and post-metal.” Two years later, we learned that Witnesses have planned a new album Joy, scheduled for release sometime in 2024. Today Decibel Magazine exclusively shares their powerful new single “Joy (Beyond the Sound of My Voice)” ahead of that eventual release.

Beginning with the aggressive propulsion of Angel Hernandez’s drums, the track ignites with the more combustible sounds of early 21st century metallic sludge. Meanwhile, vocalist Simon Bibby’s voice evokes Maynard James Keenan’s power and fragility. Like the cover photography, Schwan flips the dynamics mid-song from jagged distortion to starkly minimalist spoken word. Witnesses retain their cinematic wide-screen approach to doom while leaning into the gentler whims of My Dying Bride and Katatonia. By the end of the track, Bibby’s voice dwarfs the distortion and rises about the din with triumph.

“‘Joy (Beyond the Sound of My Voice)’ is the first single from the forthcoming full-length, Joy,” Schwan explains. “This song weaves a lot of influences together–The Peaceville 3, Katatonia, and more–into a song about moving past and away from people, ideas, and memories that harm you.”

Scale the mountains and surrender to the sky by pressing play below.

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Greg Schwan of Witnesses