Melodic sludge metal outfit Witch Ripper are gearing up for their sophomore full-length effort, The Flight After The Fall, out March 3rd via Magnetic Eye Records (pre-order here). We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Curtis Parker to discuss the new album.   


What was the process like recording The Fight after the Fall?

It was an interesting process. We had just finished our last planned show of the year early march 2019 and were already planning to finish up the new album to record when covid hit. We literally all got let go from our jobs within a week. At that point we had only finished pre production drums so we finished the rest of the album remotely just emailing tracks to put together. After that we had to kinda sit on things for a while until we got to a point where we could all self test, get together and finally start booking real studio time. Once we got all that rolling tracking went awesome. We tracked drums at a killer studio in Anacortes Wa that also had a lot of auxiliary instruments laying around so while we had just intended to do drums there we ended up tracking piano, xylophone and a bunch of crazy instruments. As you can probably tell from the recording it’s a very dense album. We took the approach used a lot in the 70’s where we tried to create this big orchestrated wall of sound. It was a ton of fun to put together. 


How would you compare the new album to your debut, 2018’s Homestead?

We think it’s a pretty big growth. I love Homestead but the real big change in songwriting was that Homestead is built of just riff after riff after riff and with The Flight After the Fall we really focused on putting big melodic chordal moments in the songs. We wanted to really focus on bringing classic song writing into what we already had going on with the big heavy riffs. I’m hoping we pulled it off. haha. Obviously with the addition of our new guitarist Chad Fox who can also sing very well we added a lot more melodic vocals to the new album. Something we had wanted to do more of but in the past we were not able to as much. 


How has the pandemic influenced or impacted the new record?

Fucking Vinyl production wait times… woof


What songs were more challenging to write?

There weren’t specific songs that were hard to write but there were sections that took a lot of time to finally get right. The verses on “Madness and Ritual Solitude ” got rewritten like 20 times even after we pre pro recorded drums yet that shreddy section came together in an afternoon. The ending of “Icarus Equation” was a big one. It was actually the first song we wrote for the album but that ending didn’t really come together until right before the studio. I rewrote it so many times.


Can you talk more about the last opus, Everlasting in Retrograde Pts I & II?

My personal favorite song on the album. I told the guys I was cooking up this giant song and it was not going to be chill. By that I mean no slow doom riffs just repeated over and over. I wanted to write a huge song that really ebbed and flowed and when listened to doesn’t feel like a 17 minute ordeal. The chorus/big ending was a part I had written years ago but never put into a song before and am so happy we pulled it off. Part 1 itself is actually put together similarly to Bell Witch’s “Mirror Reaper” where it hits a section in that shred part of the middle of the song and then starts repeating itself backwards which was really fun to mess with. The clean opening of Part 2 with the strings was inspired by Smashing Pumpkins. They never shied away from using strings on their ballads and I wanted to bring that element into this song. Like I said, my favorite track on the album. 


What was the experience like creating the video for “Enter The Loop?”

The video was fun. For some reason it’s always such a chore to find someone to film a 7 minute music video in Seattle. We had a few people say yes to the project and then bail. It was an ordeal. Finally we found a company called Twizted Productions to help us film everything and then I ended up directing and editing the whole thing. Which I had never done before.  Definitely a case of if no one is going to help us let’s do it ourselves. It was fun though. Josh from Twizted was great to work with and I think we put together something fun. We’re all goofy idiots in real life and I think it came through in the video well.



Do you have any plans for this year you can share with us?

Yes! We’re in the middle of booking a west coast tour now. Our plan going forward after that is to hop on a couple festivals and try and get as many support slots for bigger bands as we can get. We have a couple covers coming out throughout then next year for various comp tracks which I’m excited about as well!


Is there anything else you want to say or add?

I just want people to check out the album. I think hearing our name people might think that it’s a doom album or 70’s sabbath worship kinda thing and it really isn’t. We tried very hard to sculpt a unique sound for this album and I think if people take the time with it they will be surprised overall.


Track List:

01) Enter the Loop

02) Madness and Ritual Solitude

03) The Obsidian Forge

04) Icarus Equation

05) Everlasting in Retrograde Pt. I & II