After the demise of the impressive Minnesota death metal band Iron Thrones about six years ago, its members moved on to other things. Bassist Curtis Parker moved on not only musically, but also geographically, relocating from Minneapolis to Seattle where he launched a new project named Witch Ripper. At first, it was essentially a solo project, though Parker’s ex-Iron Thrones bandmate Pete Clarke collaborated as the drummer on Witch Ripper‘s self-titled debut EP, which was released in 2012.
I heard about that 2012 EP not long after it came out, and found it hugely entertaining. As I wrote then, it brought to mind the likes of Mastodon, High On Fire, Neurosis, and Helms Alee, channeling the power of the riff at high-megawatt levels of addictive hookiness, but also delivering layers of memorable melodic complexity that made it stand out from the stoner crowd. You could be swallowed up in hard-rocking, hard-rolling jams one minute, stomped-on hard the next, and swimming off on astral streams the next. I immediately started looking forward to the next Witch Ripper release.