Esben And The Witch - Deathwaltz

In five minutes, Esben and the Witch manage to squeeze in a transition of styles that solidifies their return.

Ah, the difficult second album. As fans wait in anticipation for what a band are going to do next, it’s a daunting task for any musical talent. Amidst the magical leisure of Brighton, Esben And The Witch have been brewing their next instalment, ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’ and have unleashed ‘Deathwaltz’ as the track to test the waters before the album’s release in January.

Following in Bat For Lashes’ footsteps, perhaps, ‘Deathwaltz’ has more direction and positive energy poured in to it compared to debut album ‘Violet Cries’. Straight from the off you’re confronted with this upbeat version of their former selves. It’s a steady track that grasps you immediately, while the minor changes in chord progression confuse the ears but work so well when delving between verse and chorus taking it a step away from anything too obvious.

Borderline repetitive until the mid-point, the mood becomes even more eerie as it builds with guitars and drums in to a melody that’s fast-paced, bringing to mind a walk through a dark wooded area, or a journey towards something even more sinister. As the instrumental continues for a further two minutes, you start to question whether Rachel’s beautiful vocals are going to make a return - instead it’s left as a cliff-hanger while the guitars fade in to a haze of ringing and distant feedback.

In five minutes, Esben And The Witch manage to squeeze in a transition of styles that solidifies their return, staying true to their haunting nature, and hinting at a new riff-driven direction. It’ll be interesting to hear if the rest of the album follows suit.

‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’ is released via Matador Records on 21st January 2013.

Tags: Esben And The Witch, Reviews

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