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Genre Alchemy on Witch Trail’s “The Sun Has Left The Hill”

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What is this?

Being a member of the music press means I have to have a pretty solid grip on music ontology. Everything has its place — everything has a genre. Easy. Classification is one of my strong suits, and, thus far, nothing has been able to defeat me, but… what is Witch Trail? Listen to an exclusive stream of The Sun Has Left The Hill and dissect it along with me.

The first few notes of “Sinking” had me resigned to yet another noise-rock promo which landed in my inbox, but I was very quickly proven otherwise. Witch Trail is a lot of things, but, unlike other genre fusion specialists, The Sun Has Left the Hill is all these… things — styles, genres, whatever — at once. If it wasn’t so catchy, it would be overwhelming, this odd fusion of noise-rock airiness, black metal atmosphere, hardcore fury, and punk ethos.

The Sun Has Left the Hill bears the true mark of creativity, taking different pieces of music and creating something vaster than the sum of its parts. Making something ostensibly new is difficult — we hear variants on the same five records every day (be honest), yet I can’t pinpoint one record which sounds just like Witch Trail’s unique approach.

So, what is Witch Trail? I… I don’t know. For once, I give up. Witch Trail is Witch Trail. Enjoy this dark horse and let it completely ruin your impending year-end lists.

From the artist:

We didn’t really have a direction in mind while we were writing The Sun Has Left the Hill, it just all sort of came together naturally. We made some songs and the lyrics to one or two of them had a dream-like atmosphere so we decided to pursue that path and make it a concept album. The whole album has a kind of nervousness about it, I think. A sense of urgency of some sort. Feeling like this probably doesn’t help me in getting a good night’s sleep. But paradoxically, maybe, expressing these feelings here has helped to negotiate them better in my head.

The Sun Has Left The Hill releases November 15th via Consouling Sounds and Babylon Doom Cult Records. Cassettes will follow early next year on Utech Records.

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