Old Corpse Road – ‘Tis Witching Hour… As Spectres we Haunt this Kingdom

Old Corpse Road
‘Tis Witching Hour… As Spectres we Haunt this Kingdom
Released in November 2012
Black/Folk/Atmospheric Metal
Released via Godreah Records

Old Corpse Road are one of those bands that have carved themselves a dark and haunting career since their formation whilst avoiding too much exposure. Keeping true to the mythology of Great Britain, OCR are known in the underground scene for breathing a new and somewhat twisted life into British folklore and mythology. ‘Tis Witching Hour… As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom is but the newest chapter in the band’s mystifying and haunting career.

Upon the first listen, the album takes you gently by the hand and takes you down a long and winding path that greets you with dark yet grand orchestration that is emphasised by the poetic narration as portrayed in the opening track: ‘Tis Witching Hour whilst other parts of the album come screaming out like the hellish hounds of one’s own nightmares – Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, if anything, it’s the opposite. The Cauld Lad of Hylton is one of the must-listen tracks of the album; sending forth a screaming barrage of hungry riffs with a more gentle, elegant orchestration, the track embodies all that is Old Corpse Road.

The brooding use of keyboards echo lyrically throughout the album, especially in the aforementioned The Cauld Lad of Hylton, Hag of the Mist and Isobel – Queen of Scottish Witches – The latter of which quite literally oozes with a certain magic quality that floats ever soothingly across the vast ocean of riffs and vocals yet whisked almost violently by the drums. A fair few of the tracks scream out with an essence of Cradle of Filth, from the Dusk… And Her Embrace era but building upon that sound and creating it into some sort of atmospheric enchantment that never fails to mesmerise and entrance the listener.

The Wild Voice Came is an unexpected interlude during the album but still as beautiful as the other tracks whilst I find the final track As Spectres we Haunt this Kingdom to be the highlight of the album and my new personal favourite Old Corpse Road song. Bringing a chilling atmosphere, the song is an enthralling piece of music that is the perfect way for the album to come to its sirenic finale.

Old Corpse Road are to metal, what Edgar Allen Poe is to literature – Composers and conjurers to truly dark and ethereal creations. ‘Tis Witching Hour… As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom is no doubt an ominous classic that will echo throughout the ever darkening ages, like the timeless myths of days gone by.


Nico Davidson


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