Learn more about what's to come from Canada's black 'n' roll quartet.
Wormwitch, consisting of guitarist Colby Hink, bassist/vocalist Robin Harris, and newly added drummer Israel Langlais, put together a cohesive blend of black metal with rock 'n' roll on their explosive debut record Strike Mortal Soil (2017), making for the perfect soundtrack to any violent activity. However, as aggressive and ferocious as the record may sound, it's important to note that this isn't just another heavy record made for circle pits. The lyrical content put together by Harris was deeply rooted in emotion and passion and Strike Mortal Soil does an exceptional job of embodying sentiment with musical aggression.
With their debut record out now on Prosthetic, there's no doubt that Wormwitch is here to stay. With only one record out, we're excited to see how the band will continue to evolve and take their musicianship to the next level.
We talk to guitarist Colby Hink about what's to come from Wormwitch, the artistic component of their relentless debut record, and what it's like for the band to have shared the stage with some renowned bands so early on.
Your debut record is out. You toured behind it and fans across the world are loving it. Where does Wormwitch go from here?
The next step for us is to release our new album. We could’ve spent more time touring Strike Mortal Soil, but over the course of the last year we’ve done so much learning and growing that we’re really itching to begin the new era of Wormwitch.
You guys just finished tracking and sent everything off to be mixed and mastered. How’s the new material sounding?
It’s sounding awesome, we’re already really happy with how it’s turning out. We’re confident that this is a huge step up creatively, and the new songs are much more in line with the sound that we’ve always wanted. This band is finally growing into the band that we’ve always wanted to be in, and we’re treating it like a new beginning. An exciting time for sure.
It’s been a busy year for you so far to say the least, with a heavy cycle of touring behind your debut record ‘Strike Mortal Soil.’ Were you guys working on some of the new material throughout the tour?
Yeah, in a way. We’ve never really been a band that writes on the road, but we did most of our writing while at home between tours. We’ve actually been playing a few new songs on the last couple tours to gauge the crowd reaction and see how they feel on stage.
What can fans expect from Wormwitch’s second record?
You can expect a sound that’s both more aggressive, and more melodic. A lot of the same influences and elements are in place, but I feel like we’ve implemented them more tastefully and in a more refined manner. The new material feels “smarter”... I think we’ve just learned how to better accomplish what we want to accomplish with a song. The whole record is a lot more cohesive and harder hitting. We also pulled out the stops and allowed a lot of new weapons into our creative arsenal- various different instruments, several guitar layers, different vocal styles, etc.
The first record’s lyrics revolved around death and society, and practically the correlation between the two. In terms of lyrical content, is this the direction the band is taking the second time around?
I personally don’t have a hand in the lyric writing process, so I don’t want to say too much and put words in our vocalist’s mouth. I will say though that the lyrics are more based around storytelling, influenced heavily by the old masters of fantasy. The lyrics are an extension of Robin’s worldbuilding pursuits, which are a huge artistic output for him.
Ritual Artwork did the cover art for ‘Strike Mortal Soil’ and depicted a molten, bloody landscape with dreary skies, perfectly fit for the heaviness brought forth by the record. What was the process behind that and is Ritual taking on the second one?
The process with that cover art was pretty straight forward. We write with a lot of visuals in mind, and Strike Mortal Soil always felt like a blasted hellscape, dark and red, jagged mountains, etc. We expressed this to Ritual Art and she painted a landscape based on her interpretation of the way the album feels. We’re taking a different direction for the next album, since Ritual Art is mostly tattooing and focusing on classical renaissance art these days.
‘Strike Mortal Soil’ is a perfect blend of multiple different elements of black metal, death metal, and rock n’ roll, among other subgenres. Musically, how do you manage to fuse the genres and make it flow so seamlessly?
It isn’t really something we consciously think about. We’re all just music fans that love a wide variety of styles, and the music we put out will always be a melting pot of all the influences we take in. The goal for Wormwitch is ultimately to make the music we want to hear, which will naturally happen to be a mix of our favourite elements of our favourite bands. I think the fact that we all have our own styles of playing and performing is what glues it all together. We’ve never been the kind of musicians that just want to “pick one thing” and imitate it to the best of our ability. We always want to imbue everything we do with our own spirit.
Does it motivate you in any way to be on a label like Prosthetic Records? Who has such a stacked stable of bands.
It’s hugely motivating. The help that Prosthetic provides us give everything we do more weight, helps us travel further and reach wider. They’ve been instrumental in securing us some of the opportunities we’ve had and they’ve been an absolute pleasure to work closely with. Having a great team on our side make a world of difference.
You wrapped up what looked to be an insane tour with UADA not too long ago. How did that go?
It went great, Uada are an unbelievable band as well as awesome guys. Getting to see them and share the stage with them was a treat every night. The shows were great as well, we hit lots of small towns where bands don’t seem to play too often. All those shows were killer. We weren’t sure what to expect from some of the smaller towns, but we were pleasantly surprised every time.
You also had the opportunity of playing the iconic Pyscho Las Vegas. How was that like for you as a band?
Psycho was honestly one of the best shows we’ve ever played. I’m sure the other guys would agree with me there. We got to see a ton of great bands, and the crowd response to our set was way beyond our expectations. We were playing at the same time as Eyehategod and overlapping with Godflesh, so we didn’t expect much of a turnout to our stage. A few minutes into our set though, the place was packed and we had a ton of fun. We’ve played Vegas a handful of times now and it’s always been good to us.
You only have one record out and yet you toured with some notable bands already, including The Black Dahlia Murder, Suffocation, Necrot, Decrepit Birth and Exhumed. Are there any bands you’d like to tour with in the coming years?
We want to tour with every band. Maybe not every band. Every good band. Specifically, At The Gates, Carcass, maybe Behemoth? The best kind of tour for us is with a band that we’re creatively in line with, but the bigger the band the further our influence reaches.
It’s been a great year for heavy music. What are you all currently listening to?
As far as new albums go, I’ve been really into the new Mantar record. That new Behemoth album is really interesting as well.
Heaviest of Art would like to thank Wormwitch for taking the time to talk and provide a preview of what's to come from one of our favorite new bands. Keep your eyes peeled for new Wormwitch material in the coming months and watch this space for any upcoming Wormwitch announcements.
Stream the menacing Relentless Death off of Strike Mortal Soil below and snag yourself a copy of the record via Prosthetic Records here along with some merch from their webstore here.