Band: Witches Forest
Album: Sitting on Stardust
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: July 28, 2023
Label: Fiadh Productions
Author: Michael Litteral
Witches Forest was suggested by our good friend Hayduke X, and boy, did I love what I was hearing! Through the span of multiple EPs and full-length albums released from 2022 through mid-2023, we could listen to the growth of a promising black metal musician and his act. Moonwisp, the one-man madman behind Witches Forest, has sadly put the band to rest for now, BUT! We have him continuing his blackened channeling through the vessel of Guerrero Nómada. A little bit more specific than his broader “indigenous western world” approach of Witches Forest.
‘Tis the world of black metal, eh? Bands come and go. Artists create and pause other projects. Some are in multiple projects at once. Some release a 40-minute full-length album every few weeks. It’s definitely unique to the music world, and that’s why we love it so much.
“Sitting on Stardust” rockets you through a dark night, only illuminated by a distant fire that people dance around in celebration of the full moon above. The vibrant textures of this album really paint a specific picture for me while listening. The bass is nice and loud, going up and down the fretboard. The guitar work has layering where you would need two guitarists to get a complete live sound. The drumming sounds good with a clear understanding of how to add and support the rest of the ensemble, not drown it out by blast beats or having the mixing way too loud. In fact, this album is mixed to near perfection while still staying in the realm of raw black metal. The vocals really help with the “raw” aspect. It has an excellent scratch and the slightest echo.
A wooden flute.
Personally, I am not on the Blackbraid hype train. The world wants to act like they’re this new thing that has never been done before, when in fact, there have been plenty of bands doing that “sound” more justice and have been more accurately depicting the indigenous uniqueness with the use of instruments from the western world than Blackbraid. Don’t get me wrong, Blackbraid is GREAT, but it’s not the first of its kind nor groundbreaking.
Witches Forest is a perfect example of someone who was actually showing indigenous musical characteristics. The wooden flute is skillfully placed throughout this album and with melodies that sound like it originated here before the colonization of this beautiful, ACTUAL free world. When the flute strikes a chord, which it does often in the release, I envision dirt being thrown into the fire, and you see the ember particles fly up into the night sky as they burn up quickly over the fire. And that, my friends, is how I imagine the meaning of sitting in stardust.
This album is only on Fiadh Productions’ Bandcamp page, and you can only listen to it an ‘X’ amount of times before it won’t allow you to do so unless you want to pay the hefty price of $333.00. As mentioned above, tis the world of black metal. [Editor’s Note: The label actually has this set for unlimited streaming, so stream away!]
Biography: Michael Litteral is just your friendly neighborhood metalhead who can’t seem to find his way out of the black, and he’s just fine with that.