Arkham Witch

NEW ALBUM:

"SWORDS AGAINST DEATH"

The long-awaited fourth full-length of ARKHAM WITCH is finally here! Gone is the lighthearted spirit with short and more melodic punky songs from their last studio album - we're welcoming back the more no-frills heavy metal deeply rooted in NWOBHM that we know from their first two albums, though with a bit less doom and with more epic songs instead. These British lads and lass serve us 10 dirty epics as raw as blacksmith's chin - forged in the fires of punk and doom and cooled in the tempering waters of the highest of noble ideals. Bard/brigand style of vocals singing of Norse mythology, drinking, fighting and being metal; strong, rocking and buzzing riffs; simple but effective and tight drumming; rumbling bass and organic sound is what you're getting here. Just try resisting the urge to raise your fist and sing along while listening to these songs! And if you've been living under a rock all those years and never heard of this band, you have to check them out now if you're into CIRITH UNGOL, HELL, MANILLA ROAD, SAINT VITUS, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THIN LIZZY, DEEP SWITCH and the like.

RELEASE DATE:

September 2022

BIOGRAPHY:
ARKHAM WITCH was formed in 2008 in Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK, after a diabolical pact between Simon Iff? (vocals and guitars) and Emily Ningauble (drums) to raise the elder gods using a doom filled, NWOBHM tinged traditional metal sound frequency as a summoning device.

The group was also a companion project to their other band THE LAMP OF THOTH. After a few months of rehearsals, the only blasphemous being from beyond the duo had summoned was the bloke from environmental health. Chuffed with his qualified opinion that the loudness of the band was equivalent to a Boeing 747 taking off, the two then recorded a five-song demo in 2009, which included such Lovecraft inspired ditties as "Arkham Witch", "Legions of the Deep" and "Hyades".

Determined to do something with the wealth of material Simon had been writing, the two recruited bass player John Demaine, who had previously played in one of Simon's old bands IRONSTORM (albeit not at the same time).

John began jamming with the band and a whole host of new songs were written. Around this time, Aldo "Dodo" Delle Rose, guitarist for Yorkshire thrash metallers LET 'EM BURN (who is another former IRONSTORM bandmate, and with whom Simon and Emily had played in a band called DIAVOLO), offered his services. More songs were written and a debut album began to take shape.

In between this, the band made two successful live appearances, the first in February 2011 at the Doomsday IV festival in Wakefield, along with NOMAD SON, MORTALICUM, IRON VOID and others, and the second in September at the warm up show for the Dublin Doom Day, along with ASOMVEL and MOUNTAIN THRONE. The kids seemed to dig it!

It was also during this time that it was announced that the well-respected underground label Barbarian Wrath would release the first ARKHAM WITCH album and that the recording of what would become the band’s debut opus "On Crom's Mountain" had begun.

The band headed west, passed through border control and into the realms of Lancashire, Yorkshire’s evil shadowy counterpart, and in a period of a few months at Fullstack Studios in Great Harwood the differences between the White and Red roses were set apart, and the debut album was put down. The band paused only for a triumphant gig in April at the Hammer of Doom festival in Würzburg, Germany, where they not only got a very enthusiastic response from the packed audience (including a couple of ladies who had taken the lyrics to the song "Arkham Witch" to heart and had rats dangling from their chests!) despite being the afternoon openers, but also got the opportunity to play on the same bill as their heroes PENTAGRAM.

Not long after this show, the album was finally released, and to the relief of the band, was received in the same spirit as the demo.

In the wake of the release of "On Crom's Mountain", in November of 2011 the awesome foursome ventured overseas once more to the Mediterranean to play the prestigious Malta Doom Metal festival, where they were on the bill with such heavyweights as FORSAKEN, NOMAD SON and the legendary PAGAN ALTAR. Going on after the almighty NOMAD SON, the band managed to deliver a storming set.

Soon after, ARKHAM WITCH started working on the highly anticipated follow up to "On Crom's Mountain", and meanwhile contacted Metal On Metal Records, who, having been big fans since the Doomsday festival gig, eagerly offered the band a deal to release it as well as the following album. The first audible result of this new pact was the song entitled "For Metal" which the band recorded especially for the 5th volume of the label's compilation "Compendium of Metal".

On the 16th of April 2012, ARKHAM WITCH hit the studio to record their second album, "Legions of the Deep". 8 days, 312 lagers, 82 whiskeys, 22 cigars, 4 babychams, 2 nervous breakdowns and a packet of Haribos later, and the band clambered from out of that musical tomb with the bare bones of a new opus. The group ventured back into the foreign gloom of Lancashire once more and returned to Full Stack Studios on the Queen's Jubilee (4th and 5th of June) to put the finishing touches - solos and backing vocals - to the album.

"Legions of the Deep" was put out on November 9th by Metal on Metal Records, which, through its RAW Metal division, released also "On Crom's Mountain" on cassette (limited to 66 copies) later in December 2012.

Having an uncontrollable and incurable compulsion for writing and recording, the band wrote and recorded an EP "Hammerstorm" (consisting of 4 own songs and a cover of the classic "Thunder in the Thundra" by THOR), before focusing on songs for their upcoming 3rd full-length. They self-released it in August.

2013 was a very busy year for this bunch on the live front. Apart from playing several local gigs, they had a couple of tours and festival appearances abroad.

On July 24th they played to a packed and sweat-dripping room of headbangers at Headbangers Open Air warm-up show (in Itzehoe, Germany), supporting Aussie thrash legends HOBBS ANGEL OF DEATH.

On October 4th they flew to the United Arab Emirates. They say it was for Live Necromancy festival in Dubai (featuring some great underground bands like PAGAN ALTAR, MIDNIGHT, DEATHHAMMER and NECROMANTHEON on the bill), but rumour has it it was in their never-ending search of the Necronomicon. It was that gig where their (now former) bass player Jay debuted as a fill-in drummer. It was in this sunny setting that Jay was recruited for bass duties and he mischievously announced on Facebook that he would be taking up this mantle and, being of Indian descent, that he was in fact really the child actor who had played Raj Singh in the Indiana Jones movie "Temple of Doom".

Worth mentioning is also Full Moon Dog festival, organised in remembrance of Jay-Jay Winter of ASOMVEL. ARKHAM WITCH played there on October 12th, together with PAGAN ALTAR, DESOLATION ANGELS, ASOMVEL, AMULET and a few others.

Next up was the revered Live Evil festival in London - a festival with billings chosen from the (in)famous Fenriz's Band of the Week bands. They played there on October 19th and shared the stage with SATAN, MIDNIGHT, PENTAGRAM (Chile), RANGER, CONDOR, ELIMINATOR, VAMPIRE, BASTARDHAMMER and others. At that gig, they performed with 2 guitars as John switched to one while Raj/Jay took over the bass duties (which sometimes were also handled by Simon).

On 8th of November ARKHAM WITCH went to Austria to play at Doom Over Vienna festival, together with LORD VICAR, ALTAR OF OBLIVION, MAEL MORDHA, HOODED PRIEST, IRON VOID, MAGMA RISE and a couple of other acts. This was part of the 2-leg Three Pronged Doom Metal Trident Attack (to give it its full name) which consisted of the unholy trinity of ARKHAM WITCH, HOODED PREIST and IRON VOID playing four gigs in the UK and three other shows in Austria, Germany and Belgium. Many an ale was quaffed and many a head was sore in the morning - and this tour being in November, many a child who happened to be in the motorway services mistook Luce from HOODED PRIEST for Santa!

In 2014 ARKHAM WITCH focused mainly on writing songs for their third album, and they recorded and gave an exclusive track "Beings of Fire and Vengeance" (an old IEONSTORM number) for Metal on Metal Records "Compendium of Metal Vol. 7" compilation CD.

It was around this time that ARKHAM WITCH stalwart 'Kinky' John 'Saxondale' Demaine left the band. Tired of the unfettered female attention he received, coupled with the lack of real ales abroad (the pint of Bishop's Finger in Würzburg's House of a Hundred Beers being a rare but welcome exception) he strode off into the sunset with his guitar across his back.

Next was an offer to play in Belgium as THE LAMP OF THOTH, so the crew cobbled together a TLOT set and played twice supporting themselves as ARKHAM WITCH. Because this set was on the go, the band decided to record it and thus the "Get Thothed" trilogy was born. The first of the "Get Thothed" discs - an ode to Emma and Simon's old band, dropped in April 2015 through Metal on Metal Records, featuring Arkham's twist on that band's classic songs. It came in cardboard sleeves and with a slipcase for housing this and the other two future EPs.

Gone was Johnny D., but now here was Johnny H. - John Hanslip from Aldo's old band LET 'EM BURN and the well-respected Bradford band BLOODSTREAM stepped into the guitar breach.

Some gigs followed, including shows with THE PROPHECY, GOATESS and IRON VOID in the UK. Then, on October 23rd 2014 they were back to Malta to play at the Malta Doom Metal Festival warm-up show, together with FANGTOOTH and 12TH ODE.

Meanwhile, it became clear that the band's third album "I Am Providence" would not see the light of day in 2014. The band encountered a few setbacks while recording it, so Metal on Metal changed the plan last minute, pushing the album's release date back to 2015 and releasing the band's first recordings, giving them a treatment they deserve (originally the 2009 demo was out only on CD-R). Re-mastered, and released under the title "Demos from the Deep" on November 14th, as digipak limited to 250 copies with two bonus tracks (one of them first time on CD and the other one a previously unreleased version of "For Metal" song), it kept the fans' appetite for all things ARKHAM WITCH.

Earlier that year, a song called "Beings of Fire and Vengeance" was released as an exclusive track on "Compendium of Metal Vol. 7".

In 2015, the band went back to the studio to finally record "I Am Providence". They recorded enough tracks for not only an album but also an EP, and in that session also recorded a few tracks for a new release which were ultimately shelved. However, a few of them made it out into the wider world, including a cover of CIRITH UNGOL's "Frost and Fire", as well as "Sentinels of Steel" and "Think Heavy!" which were later included on Metal on Metal's annual compilations "Compendium of Metal" in 2017 and 2019.

"I Am Providence" and "Weird Tales" EP came out in November 2015 and due to the eclectic mix of punk and metal on these releases, coupled with more emphasis on vocal hooks, divided the faithful Arkhamites into two camps - those who loved it and those who hated it! The marmite album had arrived and although to some an acquired taste, it still held the fun enthusiasm and yobbish bite of the first two albums, and was still very much "Arkham Witch".

Never a band to rest - the band then recorded and Metal on Metal released the second of the "Get Thothed" discs. As before, more classic Thoth songs were given the Arkham treatment, but this time featured an extended version of the Lamp's "Sunshine" and a song that never made it to the recording stage called "Serpentine".

Finally, the trilogy completed with "Get Thothed Vol. III" in 2018 - this EP (although aprox. 50 minutes in length!) was entirely composed of old Thoth songs that had never made it to the recording stage. It came with the booklet with song lyrics for all three "Get Thothed" EPs.

It was around this time that Klankenstein's first foray into the wonderful world of ARKHAM WITCH officially started. This mysterious bass entity known as Klankenstein, who masquerades as the human artist Ben Snowden, first appeared in Emily and Simon's other project VAMPIRE DEATH, which was a more punky type band with hints of doom, and featured also Dodo Doom performing drums on some songs on the debut album. So it was only natural that Klankenstein would join ARKHAM WITCH after the departure of Raj Singh. Klanky's first tenure in Arkham was short-lived, but not before some great shows were played. In May of 2015, the band played in Glasgow and there was also a triumphant return to Belgium.

Also around this time, a curious incident befell the band. It turned out that Jay's little fib that he was indeed the child actor Raj Singh from the Indiana Jones films was picked up by the canny researchers of major UK radio station Absolute Radio who were trying to find the aforementioned actor in a "where are they now?" kind of segment. Imagine the look on Dodo Doom's face when one morning he put the radio on at work and heard his own guitar playing blasting back at him. The segment played all week and ARKHAM WITCH were invited to be interviewed, but responded by sending an apology for the deception in the form of a song - which was played on the show! The show did also mention the alarming rate at which the band went through bass players...

After the departure of Ben due to family commitments, ARKHAM WITCH recruited Ross 'The Bass Boss' Adams, and in March 2019, the band played Hammerfest in Wales on the same bill as FLOTSAM AND JETSAM and OVERKILL, and geared themselves up to record a new album.

Onwards then! To the follow up to "I Am Providence" - they tried and tried to record a new album, but alas it was not fated to happen - after trying to get it together to self-record a new opus for a couple of years, COVID hit and put a big delay in ARKHAM WITCH's plans.

John Hanslip decided to quit the band to seek new heavy metal pastures. Aldo took a break and Ross also quit. Emma and Simon snuck under cover of night to record demos and plan for the future of the band.

After the departure of Ross, Klankenstein decided to return to ARKHAM WITCH, and joined Emily and Simon in working on new material. It was at this point that Dodo Doom announced his imminent return and the fourpiece got busy.

2021 saw the band go into the studio to record four songs. But the recording went so well the band ended up putting down the 8 tracks that make up "Three Bladed Doom" EP, which they self-released.

Then it was time to work on the album! A furious song writing workshop ensued and ten songs were crafted from pure metal and steel. The band went back to the studio and began to record them in November of 2021 - and then came back in January 2022 to finish the album. It was after the recording of the above that they played in Liverpool with TAILGUNNER and the day after, in Bradford with IRON VOID and two other bands. After that, they went straight back into the studio to record their digital EP "Give Me Death by Heavy Metal!" which is available on Bandcamp.

ARKHAM WITCH's fourth full-length album is called "Swords Against Death" and it got released in September 2022, at the Keep It True Rising II festival, by Metal on Metal Records. It marks the return to the band's earlier heavy metal style, hinted already on their 2021 EP, but with even more epic songs this time.


GENRE:
Heavy/Doom Metal

ORIGIN:
UK (Keighley, West Yorkshire), 2008

CURRENT LINE-UP:
Simon Iff? (vocals)
Aldo "Dodo" Doom (guitars)
Hellenbach (bass)
Emily Ningauble (drums)

LINKS:
Arkham Witch @ Facebook
Arkham Witch YouTube playlist





PREVIOUS RELEASES:


"GET THOTHED VOL. III" (EP)

This last part of the series, "Get Thothed Vol. III", is more like a full-length, with 50 minutes playing time and 6 THE LAMP OF THOTH songs - all of them previously unreleased! It comes in cardboard sleeves with insert and 12-page booklet with lyrics to all 3 EPs, to be added to the slipcase which came together with "Vol. I".
RELEASE DATE:
February 2018





"GET THOTHED VOL. II" (EP)

This second part of the collectible series, "Get Thothed Vol. II", consists of 4 THE LAMP OF THOTH classics, slightly re-arranged and recorded anew, and 1 previously unreleased track ("Serpentine"). It comes in cardboard sleeves with insert, and it's to be added to the slipcase which came together with "Vol. I".
RELEASE DATE:
April 2016





"I AM PROVIDENCE" (CD)

ARKHAM WITCH have always had a penchant for weirdness but on their 3rd full-length they've taken things one step further, showing an even more whimsical side, and serving a subtle mix of chanting doom mongering, sing-along metallicisms and anthemic mosh agencies, all wrapped in the amorphous tentacles of Lovecraft's concepts and stories. The shift in style is quite noticeable: while it's still mostly British heavy metal rooted in the '70s and '80s tradition, the doom element present on their previous releases is subdued in favour of some punky refrains and a dose of thrash/crossover. Shorter and more melodic songs with strong emphasis on backing vocals and harmonies (though the instantly recognizable brigand-like vocals are still there too), are spiced up with some odd synth and piano, and have an overall lighter spirit, but they also deliver punches with chunky riffs that would make for a good mosh-pit fodder. It's a light-hearted fun take on the pulpy side of the Mythos, with hooks the size of Cthulhu's claws... pure Lovecraftian cheekiness! Musically, it bears some similarities to bands like THE LAMP OF THOTH, DEEP SWITCH, HELL, TANK, MISFITS, THE BLOOD, BÖC, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL and M.O.D., but it is a very peculiar album, and one that tastes best with your favourite booze!
RELEASE DATE:
November 2015





"LEGIONS OF THE DEEP RESPAWNED" (CD)

A reissue of this sold-out album from 2012, remastered and with 3 live bonus tracks, 2 of which are previously unreleased songs ("Shadow of the Vampire" and "Yog-Sothoth"). ARKHAM WITCH is a name that should be already familiar to the old school heavy metal and doom fans, especially those into THE LAMP OF THOTH, the previous band of the vocalist Simon and drummer Emily. On their sophomore album the Brits serve one ridiculously catchy "hit" after another. Their influences are pretty obvious: DEEP SWITCH, HELL, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, JUDAS PRIEST, PENTAGRAM, SAINT VITUS, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL, VALHALL... but at the same time it's not possible to mistake them for any other band (except for TLOT perhaps), as their personality shines strongly through their music and attitude. It's straightforward doom and NWOBHM laden traditional metal, occult, but with a tinge of humor, with these trademark bard/brigand type vocals of Simon. And if it makes you do weird moves and speak in strange tongues, you are not alone... you've just joined the Legions of the Deep!
RELEASE DATE:
November 2015




"GET THOTHED VOL. I" (EP)

Arkham Thoth or The Lamp of Witch? It can get confusing when the songwriter and the main members (Simon on vocals and Emily on drums) are the same. Well, according to Simon, TLOT has not come back to life, so the decision has been made to release their next 3 EPs under the Witch name. Covering the Lamp. "Get Thothed" collectible series. This first part, "Get Thothed Vol. I", consists of 5 TLOT classics, slightly re-arranged and recorded anew. It comes in cardboard sleeves with insert and with a slipcase to house this and the future 2 EPs, which will feature some previously unreleased songs (planned for November 2015 and April 2016 respectively), as well as the booklet with all lyrics (to be out with "Get Thothed Vol. III"). All adorned by beautiful and most fitting graphics from the end of 19th century. A must for all die-hard fans of this British metal bunch, and especially for those who prefer their more doomy side (as THE LAMP OF THOTH is definitely more doom than the more straightforward heavy metal ARKHAM WITCH), and for fans of bands like SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM, VALHALL, THE GATES OF SLUMBER, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL, HELL, WITCHFINDER GENERAL... Start your AW/TLOT EPs collection now!
RELEASE DATE:
April 2015





"DEMOS FROM THE DEEP" (first 250 copies: limited digipak, second 250 copies: cardboard sleeves)

The first demo of ARKHAM WITCH, originally recorded and released on CD-r in 2009, finally gets a proper treatment! It's now re-mastered and released on digipak format (limited to 250 units) with 2 bonus tracks: "The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune" (2011, first time on CD) and "For Metal" (2012, previously unreleased alternate version - live in the studio). This exclusive collectors edition features artwork by the band's guitarist Aldo "Dodo" Delle Rose, and comes on 3-panel digipak with lyrics included. A must for all die-hard fans of this British heavy/doom metal bunch, and for fans of bands like THE LAMP OF THOTH, DEEP SWITCH, HELL, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, JUDAS PRIEST, PENTAGRAM, SAINT VITUS, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL, VALHALL or DANZIG... as long as they don't mind low-fi recording and production!
RELEASE DATE:
November 2014 / April 2016 (repackaged edition)




"ON CROM'S MOUNTAIN" (tape)

This is ARKHAM WITCH's debut album from 2011 "On Crom's Mountain" released now on cassette format, limited to 66 hand-numbered copies, with a new cover art. What can be said about this kick-ass album that hasn't been said yet? Not much probably, so we'll just pull out a few quotes from Michael Ballue's review for Hellride Music Forums: "Ten brand new rough and ready, in your face metal smashers leaping out of the speakers to savage the listener like a rabid wolf. (...) The magnificent beast that first roared on the demo is just bigger, stronger and more experienced. (...) Arkham Witch have an all too rare ability to write songs that are unadulterated metal yet catchy and immediate beyond belief. As you head bang, they burrow into your brain like an aggressive horde of parasites. (...) There is a wealth of variety and not even close to a single clunker in this over 50 minutes of mayhem. The quality control is iron clad and the spirit is unrelenting. The musicianship is spot on perfect throughout and the songwriting is extraordinarily good. Really there is every reason for you to buy this immediately and not a single not to... for fucks sake get on with it immediately if you don't own this already."
RELEASE DATE:
December 2012




"LEGIONS OF THE DEEP" (CD)

ARKHAM WITCH is a name that should be already familiar to the old school heavy metal and doom fans, especially those into THE LAMP OF THOTH, the previous band of the vocalist Simon and drummer Emily. On their sophomore album the Brits serve one ridiculously catchy "hit" after another. Their influences are pretty obvious: DEEP SWITCH, HELL, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, JUDAS PRIEST, PENTAGRAM, SAINT VITUS, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL... but at the same time it's not possible to mistake them for any other band (except for TLoT perhaps), as their personality shines strongly through their music and attitude. It's straightforward doom and NWOBHM laden traditional metal, occult, but with a tinge of humor, with these trademark bard/brigand type vocals of Simon. And if it makes you do weird moves and speak in strange tongues, you are not alone... you've just joined the Legions of the Deep!
RELEASE DATE:
November 2012


DISCOGRAPHY:
"Demo 2009" (2009)
Demo, self-released (CD-R)
"On Crom's Mountain" (2011)
Full-length, Barbarian Wrath (CD), RAW Metal/Metal On Metal Records (cassette, 2012), Journey's End (vinyl, 2013)
"Legions of the Deep" (2012)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Hammerstorm" (2013)
EP, self-released (CD), Journey's End (vinyl, 2015)
"Demos from the Deep" (2014)
Demo re-release, RAW Metal (CD)
"Get Thothed Vol. I" (2015)
EP, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"I Am Providence" (2015)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Legions of the Deep Respawned" (2015)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Weird Tales" (2015)
EP, self-released (CD)
"Get Thothed Vol. II" (2016)
EP, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Demos from the Deep" (2016)
Demo re-release (repackaged edition), Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Get Thothed Vol. III" (2018)
EP/Full-length, Metal On Metal Records (CD)
"Three Bladed Doom" (2021)
EP, self-released (digital, CD-R), Journey's End (vinyl)
"Give Me Death by Heavy Metal!" (2022)
EP, self-released (digital)
"Swords Against Death" (2022)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records (CD)


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