Esben and the Witch – A New Nature

It does not seem to have been that long since Esben and the Witch released Wash the Sins Not Only the Face in 2013, yet they have already returned with a new album called A New Nature. Hailing from Brighton, England, Esben and the Witch plays a form of alternative rock with significant elements of post-punk and shoegaze in conjunction with their ethereal sound. While Wash the Sins Not Only the Face was bathed in layers of electronic effects, A New Nature takes a more stripped down and primal approach to their music. A New Nature opens with Press Heavenwards! This track begins slowly and mysteriously until post-punk bass lines drive the song as the ethereal vocals of Rachel Davies are heard overhead. The song slows down and takes on a more doomy character, strongly reminiscent of bands, such as the now defunct Black Math Horseman. Dig Your Fingers In has a mysterious, almost ritualistic vibe accompanied by Davies’ mesmerizing wailing vocals. No Dog opens with pummeling drums, slows down again to the ethereal and primal nature prevalent throughout this album, until the tribal drums take hold again. The repetitive thud of drums drives the centerpiece of the album in The Jungle. Layers slowly build until the song slows down. Trumpets begin to be heard in the distance, as later drums and guitar build around them. Mysterious, ethereal vocals, post-punk rhythms, and doomy atmosphere permeate throughout much of A New Nature. There is definitely a primal nature emanating from each of the tracks on this album, until it finally ends with the gentle and quiet closer of Bathed in Light. I enjoyed Wash the Sins Not Only the Face and I also enjoy A New Nature despite the shift in sound. The stripped down nature and the primal atmosphere greatly remind me of Black Math Horseman, although that band has significantly more distortion; however, Esben and the Witch have managed to expand their sound and have crafted a very solid release with A New Nature. Fans of Black Math Horseman, Warpaint, and ethereal post-punk music may want to check out this album.

Genre: Alternative Rock, Shoegaze, Post Punk
Country: England
Label: Nostromo Records
Release: September 1, 2014

Tracklist:
1. Press Heavenwards!
2. Dig Your Fingers In
3. No Dog
4. The Jungle
5. Those Dreadful Hammers
6. Wooden Star
7. Blood Teachings
8. Bathed In Light

Review By:

b2f

Bound2Fate

lastfm

 

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