Dead Witches are an amazing, crushingly heavy, psychedelic, stoner doom band. With legendary drummer, Mark Greening (Ex Electric Wizard, With The Dead, Ramessess) along with vocalist Virginia Monti, (Psychedelic Witchcraft), Carl Geary on bass, and Greg Elk on guitar, sadly Elk passed away in 2016. The album is absolutely superb, definitely one of the best records of the year. The production is amazing, the songs are great, and the fucking riffs are orgasms for the ears.
The album starts off with the sound of rain, a storm, and a haunting bass riff, followed by some organ and guitar feedback, setting a very dark mood. Moving into the song Dead, which starts off with a fantastic, fuzzy riff, and the drums kick in, this song rides on the groove of this riff, building and building, as Virginia begins her beautiful, haunting vocals, its very powerful. It sucks you into the dark vortex to hell, dragging you, numbed from dopesmoke. How metal is that? It’s nice to hear Mark bashing those drums, like the skulls of his most hated enemies, one of the best drummers of the last 20 years, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
There’s a big cosmic, psychedelic vibe to the crushing, dark riffs, it makes it all the better. It isn’t forced, it’s done naturally. It leads directly into the song Drawing Down The Moon, probably my favorite on the record. It starts with an awesome, ominous riff, some ritualistic drum beat, before going into this spacey, trippy, dark stormy song, with an amazing and powerful vocal performance. Just one sample of the sinister lyrics is, “Drawing down the moon/Sacrifice the blood.” It grooves, and feels amazing, and changes up, by going into a faster tempo, with awesome mind-bending guitar work, and ferocious drumming, as it disappears into oblivion.
The title track Ouija, starts with a nice, slow dirge like riff. The vocals come in hauntingly, but raspy and almost seductive. It talks of a black mass ritual, and it has this lush, calm aura floating around. Virginia really delivers on this album, and you can tell she is putting her all into it. She’s a fantastic front woman, and with there not being that many great frontwomen in this specific genre, it is very refreshing to hear such a commanding female voice, behind this amazing, heavy, soul possessing witchery of metal.
Mind Funeral starts off with a 4 count on the sticks, and goes into probably the most crushing bass line I have ever heard. It then builds up, with them doing what they do best, riding on the groove of that riff, not just riding the riff, it’s fucking mind boggling. It changes a little halfway through, into this amazing riff, that just carries you safely in a tornado of destruction. It slows down, and softly plays the riff, calmly grooving, before it picks right back up. If someone ever asks you to show them an album, that represents heavy metal as an artform, this would be the one to show them. This is an absolute masterpiece.
The final track, A World Of Darkness begins with a nice drum beat, and leads to a riff that sounds like the apocalypse, if the sun was blacked out, despair all around. Then it moves into a riff that is slow, grooving, and menacing as hell. The lyrics speaking of damning the entire world, raising the dead from the grave, “The dead wanna show/The evil debt they sow,” gives ya chills, delivered like this. Then it stops, and goes back into that drum beat, from the beginning, and that damning riff comes back stronger than before, allowing you to bask in all it’s macabre glory, one last time. It ends with a tribal drum solo by Mark, a Zeppelin-esque touch, which closes out the album wonderfully. This album is so full of 60’s/70’s vibes and influence, but in a fresh, very heavy approach, which is fantastic. This album sets the mood of a psychedelic album, and places a dark curse on it, and dances around a fire with the devil in the pale moonlight, rejoicing. It is a classic horror film sonically. Phenomenal.
By Andy Thunders
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