Witchblade

Look, I think you should all go listen to the Songs of The Witchblade album.

You're making a face, I can tell. Bear with me, here.

Witchblade was an Image Comics book in the 90s, and it was fucking dreadful. It was one of the worst of those super-distorted girl-ninja tit-books that Image was so famous for. But, apparently, Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland was a fan, and she curated/produced this amazing record. Every now and then when talking about music, Babes will come up and I'll go, "Yeah, and Witchblade!" and nobody has any idea what I'm talking about.

It's very much a "concept album", with hints of a plot drifting through the songs (with intermittent hardboiled/apocalyptic narration by Eric Bogosian), but most importantly, the music is just fantastic. It's got that riot grrl edge (more Fontanelle than Nemesisters), but it leans toward the cinematic and spooky.

Kat, Miho Hatori and Lydia Lunch cover Witchy Woman. How can you not love that! Though I think my favorite track is Mater Dolorosa.

Go listen.

Incidentally: recently the Babes in Toyland-shaped hole in my heart has been being filled by Julie Christmas and her various bands.

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Current Music: as noted.

19 Responses:

  1. the concept of you endorsing anything witchblade-related is breaking my head. that book was about 60x too stupid for me. when it first came out, when i was 14.

  2. Lloyd says:

    Witchblade has strong female characters, but there are no strong male characters. It is incredibly sexist.

  3. tjic says:

    Personally I'm waiting for the Songs of Tarot concept album. The preliminary cuts of track 3 ("Your Vagina is Haunted") sound really solid.

    [ Footnotes:

    No such album actually exists / SHOULD ever exist. I'm riffing off of

    http://www.the-isb.com/?p=980

    Yes. That frame is really in the book. I purchased the last copy I had in stock http://heavyink.com/comic/6723-Tarot-Witch-Of-The-Black-Rose-53 just to document the horrible reality.
    ]

  4. krowface says:

    I'll say it if no one else will. Witchblade was better than most people realize. The concept is completely cliched, but in so many ways it worked really well. Just... not much of it worked outside the context of how the world of comic books was at the time.

    Pro-feminism to the point of being bludgeoning while surrounded by the shallow fad of "bad girls", it took every trope that was trending at the time and did a VERY good job of it. It comes from a simplier time. The same sort of time that had us smoking behind the school and clinging to these much needed adolescent power fantasies. It was denim vests, dime bags, and Anthrax playing on the local college station.

    Personally, I'm disappoint that more Image characters aren't showing up in "The Darkness II" game coming out. I really wouldn't mind having the Witchblade drop a cameo in there.


    Does that not scream "powerful vagina" right there?

  5. tjic says:

    WAIT. ONE. SECOND.

    --------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchblade

    There have been many spin-off titles which place the Witchblade in other times and settings... [ including with ] the cast of Battle of the Planets.

    --------

    W. T. F!?!?

  6. Possibly Not Unrelated: The music on the Mechwarrior 2 game CD was better than the game.

  7. Sheilagh says:

    Looks like there's another album, diff artists, "Witchblade the Music". Not as lyrical.

    Somewhat related, Black Aria by Danzig is high concept, choirs of fallen angels and pious demons lamenting lost love kinda stuff. And now I discover that he went on to make Black Aria II, giving me more music to buy.

  8. sean b says:

    Mater Dolorosa is a great song--I first heard it on one of your earliest mixtapes. I used to play it on a loop while working a couple years ago, and it's still on my primary work playlist.

    However, I think you labelled the performer as Babes in Toyland, which seems doubtful to me--it doesn't really really sound like any of their albums, and checking now, allmusic attributes it to Bjelland, and the wikipedia discography for Babes lists Overtura but not Mater Dolorosa.

  9. Lloyd says:

    The first issue of Witchblade is free in the Image Comics iPad app. As are the first issues of Aphrodite IX, Magdalena, Madam Mirage, Angelus... Seems to be a theme.

  10. Arenbe says:

    Apparently Mimi Goese from Hugo Largo is on one of the tracks, so I've been meaning to pick this up for a while, but I keep forgetting it exists.

  11. plums says:

    I know this album. I know it because most of Girls Against Boys play on that Witchy Woman cover. Although you'd never know from hearing it. It's pretty good but listening to it know, everything about it sounds a bit... empty? Maybe it's just the production style.

    In some ways it strikes me as being a kind of antithesis to that soundtrack from the Spawn movie. So that's a plus.

  12. Jonn says:

    The funny thing is that, I've heard, at some point in the past decade or so, Top Cow decided to make Witchblade more than just T&A and give it plots and characters and covers one wouldn't be ashamed to be seen with in public and stuff.

    I was as shocked as anyone.

    • Crimson Emerald says:

      That's true. I picked up Vol 1-8 (and Redemption 1-4). When I went back to read the originals, man was I shocked. Witchblade is less so about the T&A nowadays. Which is pretty good.

  13. Crimson Emerald says:

    Though the covers are still pretty out there sometimes, but that doesn't reflect the interior.