Witchrist | Interview
Metalireland is giving space to anyone who wants to write. If you have an idea or a rant, a diatribe or a memory, just get in touch and we’ll give you the floor – but make sure to check your idea BEFORE sending it in, cheers. Andrew Cunningham is vocalist and guitarist for Wreck Of The Hesperus.
New Zealand’s Witchrist recently released their debut album, ‘Beheaded Ouroborous’ through Invictus.
With this new work they have taken an already Cro-Magnon sound to even more base and knuckle-dragging depths, riffs crawling along at a nerve shattering trudge, guitars tuned so low that the music essentially becomes little more than a swampy, murky, bludgeoning morass and sickening/sickened growls that rumble through to your very bones.
This ain’t party music, these lads won’t be headlining Wacken anytime soon, no siree, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
I caught up with the horde for a quick natter to shed some light on proceedings but it seems that in the Witchrist world all is darkness, all is obscurity and they seem compelled to further deepen the mystery.
So, when did it all begin?
In 2007 the idea of Witchrist was formed. Witchrist was created in vein of the current Age of Kali, the coming of the apocalypse.
Fair enough. I have to ask, what the hell is a Witchrist? It is such an unusual name, is it intended to be simple, crude and blasphemous or is there more to it? What sort of band philosophy do you have or do you even have one?
“Witchrist is the ultimate perversion of Christ. Both male and female elements causing complete chaos. An abomination that is to be foul yet defined simultaneously. Our philosophy is Doom Cult. We are cult members.”
Your debut album, ‘Beheaded Ouroborous’, was recently released and sees the band take an even darker and more disgusting turn than was evidenced on the demo. There is more emphasis on the swampy Doom aspect of your sound, yet also a consolidation of the dungeon Death we have come to expect. It is utter fucking overload on every level and is quite a dense and difficult album to listen to. How do you manage to summon such filth?
“When writing a lot of ideas are brought to the table, some are discarded instantly while others are used and perhaps modified to create the overall hymn. Each band member contributes in their own way, this is essential for Witchrist. If we hate something we do not use it.”
Your artwork is always quite striking and powerful. Bad News Brown has, once again, taken responsibility for the visual side of things as well as unleashing six string destruction. Is it important to keep all aspects of the band, from music, lyrics and artwork, within the band unit or is it simply a matter of conveniece?
“Bad News’s contribution to the visuals is stemmed from his total obsession with the music. He has taken part in creating the music and there is no doubt that will influence the direction of his artwork. It is very important for a band to combine both visual/audio as one. If we ever intend on using another artist, Bad News’ input will still be necessary.”
You recently destroyed Dublin with fellow Kiwi maniacs, Diocletian. The crowd were really into it and your set seemed to go down well with the majority. Do you care if the crowd you play to likes you or not? The band members wear a uniform of hoods and spikes when playing live so do you feel like a gang when you are up on stage? What do the guitarists’ masks represent?
“What the crowd want to do is up to them. We play what we want and will not adjust it for any particular person or trend. The uniform is not one hundred percent complete yet, however the black hood has been in circulation since our first show in Auckland. We are a cult. It is a reflection of our personalities. We aim to have a ritualistic presence – total death. The masks are worn by myself and Bad News – hiding the face (like a murderous thuggee cult member) yet with Sanskrit script etched in. These have numerous meanings.”
I would consider Witchrist among the elite of the current underground Death Metal scene, along with Diocletian, Cruciamentum, Negative Plane, Necros Christos, Antediluvian, Dead Congregation and Grave Miasma. What is your opinion on current state of the scene?
I don’t really think about them. I listen to a handful of bands, always going back to classics. I do enjoy checking out demo tapes. Antediluvian and Cruciamentum’s demos really made an impact.
Absolutely. You have a 10″ due out and also a split with the mighty Antediluvian that will surely bulldoze all and sundry whenever it materialises. What else does the future hold for Witchrist?
“Contact with Jason from Bird of Ill Omen Records and Tim from Antediluvian lead to this union. It will contain two new Witchrist tracks, ultimately crushing and heavy, and we have included them in our live set. You could say this is a teaser for the next Witchrist album. The Antediluvian side is a fucking sinister slab of total death. This 10″ will be heavy enough to crush people into dust.”
I look forward to being crushed…
-Andrew Cunningham ::: 01/12/10