Infernal Masquerade Review - Dec 2012

Infernal Masquerade Review - Dec 2012

http://www.infernalmasquerade.com/?q=reviews/002335-old-corpse-road-%E2%80%93-tis-witching-hour%E2%80%A6-spectres-we-haunt-kingdom-2012

Holy shit! Who brought Cradle of Filth (circa 1996) back from the dead!. With a very familiar sound, today we have Old Corpse Road their debut full-length release “'Tis Witching Hour... As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom”. Sounding eerily similar to CoF on their “Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein”/”Dusk…and Her Embrace” era, today we have this British band with a very explosive sound with some Folk elements thrown in to keep things a bit fresh.

Surrounded in a shroud of mysterious atmospheric elements, the opener “’Tis Witching Hour” delivers the chilling deep spoken vocal sections that we all used to love from CoF. The keyboards are extremely epic (just like on “Dusk…and Her Embrace”) and nicely set the mood for the brutal “The Cauld Lad Of Hylton”. In a very CoF-esque vibe, the band quickly delivers massive drumming sections and killer shrieks/growls combo sections. This is exact déjà vu of what CoF used to do back in the day, and we think it is awesome.

While some people might hate on the band because of their striking similarities to CoF, we actually enjoyed it since said band hasn’t sounded like this in almost a decade. Atmospheric slowdowns and creepy passages make “Hag of The Mist” one of our favorite tracks in this release. The band introduces some Folk-ish elements like on the track “The Wild Voice Came”, where some lush vocal arrangements break the album of the flow completely and deliver a WTF moment. However, this nicely signals a bit of a change in the music since on the epic “The Crier Of Claiffe” the band continues both things at once and allows the song have a more different sound, but it also has them sounding a bit like older Enslaved for moments.

The CoF worship returns with our favorite track “Isobel – Queen of Scottish Witches”, a monumental song with crushing vocal arrangements. This track is intense and very atmospheric, creating a very exciting and powerful momentum in the release. This level of intensity is excellently carried on by the hard hitting “Glassensikes At Witching Hour”. Closing the release we have the dreamy “As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom” and its chilling vocal arrangements.

Overall, there is obviously plenty of similarities with Cradle of Filth in their early years and some people will downright hate the band for this. On the other hand, we see a very polished release that is both brutal and very atmospheric in nature. The band delivers killer riffs, epic keyboards and tight drumming. All of this is complemented by a crushing mixture of shrieks, growls and creepy spoken sections that greatly enhance the atmosphere of the album. If you are a fan of older CoF and/or like intense Symphonic Black Metal, this is the release for you.

Written By: Dark Emperor

Rating: 88/100