Formed in late 2015 in a dark cavern beneath the streets of old Edinburgh, a lead-heavy brew of old school Metal and the meatiest of 70’s classic rock emerges in the form of King Witch. Bristling with dark majesty, they draw comparisons ranging from Black Sabbath and Candlemass to Mastodon and High On Fire. The band quickly earned themselves a reputation as a formidable live act and have toured the UK and Europe as well as playing festivals such as Sweden Rock, Muskel Rock, Malta Doom Fest, Dutch Doom Days and Siege of Limerick.
After self-releasing their exceptionally well-received EP ‘Shoulder of Giants’, the band were picked up by French label Listenable Records through which they released their debut album ‘Under The Mountain’ in February 2018.
King Witch’s highly anticipated second album ‘Body of Light’, which further focuses their ability to fuse dense riffage with haunting yet powerful vocal lines and melodies was released worldwide via Listenable Records on the 24th April 2020 and has been received by the press and public to high critical acclaim. ‘Body of Light’s’ wider dynamic range takes the listener on an electrifying journey from dark, brooding passages through to full-tilt Heavy Metal glory.
Body of Light by Laura Donnelly
The name King Witch came about in the same way most bands come up with their names, by throwing a lot of ideas out there and picking one that everyone agrees on. No great mystery really. I guess if you look into it, the words ‘King Witch’ are both masculine and feminine, so it does describe the band quite well.
During the writing process ‘Body of Light’ was one of the first songs we wrote. Subsequently all the other songs followed a similar theme so I thought ‘Body of Light’ was an appropriate and fitting name for the album. The title track Body of light is very loosely based on Aleister Crowley’s book ‘Control of the Astral Body’. Our music can be dark and brooding then elating the next – I like to think that the album takes you on a journey like in a dream or an out-of-body experience. To me, the name ‘Body of Light’ encompasses all this.
We have many elements of our music. Doom, stoner, trad and even a little prog Heavy fucking Metal! We love the variety, and we hope it keeps the music interesting. I think ‘Body of Light’ showcases this variety more so than on our debut album ‘Under the Mountain’. There is a lot more light and shade musically and vocally. With regards to influences and inspiration, I’m a huge fan of powerful vocalists. Singers such as Dio, Messiah Marcolin, Robert Plant and Janis Joplin had a huge impact on me. I love the seemingly effortless power they exude, and I love the emotion and drama they achieve. Although I’m inspired by these awesome musicians I’d like to think I have my own unique style and sound.
We never intentionally set out to be a doom band; we just wanted to play music we enjoyed and not be confined to one genre. I think people find it hard to pigeonhole King Witch because of this, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. As I mentioned earlier, we have many elements of our music. I prefer this approach. Bands like Sabbath and Zeppelin had a variety of styles and sounds on their albums, and I think that’s what made them interesting to listen to.
The main concepts lyrically on ‘Body of Light’ I guess are based around life and death and the question of what lies beyond. Magic, occultism, Scottish folklore and the human condition interweave this. I just write about how the song makes me feel, so I guess there are some personal elements in there too. I think there are running themes throughout the album, but that wasn’t intentional, but I think it helps make the album flow more.
I don’t go near drugs any more and haven’t for years. I found that they were detrimental to my mental health which has been up and down since I was a teenager. I can understand the benefits of them, though if you are in the right frame of mind, but you don’t need drugs to be creative. I write the lyrics and melodies for the songs and Jamie writes the music. Everyone has input, though as to how the songs turn out. Lyrically I constantly imagine scenarios from films I’ve watched, books I’ve read, dreams I’ve had and people I’ve met and that’s where my creative input comes from.
I have created the artwork for all the King Witch releases. I work as a Graphic Designer in my day job, so I’m always willing to give the artwork a go. There isn’t a lot of money in the music industry these days, so I think we’re fortunate we can do certain things ourselves like the recording and artwork. As I mentioned earlier, the song ‘Body of Light’ is very loosely based on Aleister Crowley’s book ‘Control of the Astral Body’. I love occult art and anything to do with space, so that’s where the concept came from. I came up with the idea and showed it to the guys, and they liked it, so it stuck.