By Ryan Falla
Dead Witches, despite the fact that they are yet to release their debut album ‘Ouija’, already have incredibly deep ties to the doom metal genre. Formed by ex-Electric Wizard drummer Mark Greening and vocalist Virginia Monti (Psychedelic Witchcraft), Dead Witches retain the formula that pushed Electric Wizard towards to forefront of stoner/doom metal. It’s not a coincidence that this album was recorded in Chuckalumba Studios where the legendary Electric Wizard album ‘Dopethrone’ was recorded. Everything from the production value to the strong track listing make this an album that fans of doom metal and especially Electric Wizard will need to listen to.
Dead Witches take an approach to production that often comes off as disingenuous and manufactured, lo-fi production; yet instead of coming across as a forced throwback, Dead Witches add a raw flavor to their music that will bring you back to the early roots of late ’90s / early 2000s doom metal. Dead Witches sounds as if they’ve recorded their music through a layer of molten lava, the grit and ferocity behind the production values are absolutely astounding. ‘Ouija’ is like something you would find hidden in your blazed out uncles garage in the ’90s; an immediate win for all fans of doom/stoner metal.
‘Ouija’ kicks off with an atmospheric intro track helmed by the dirty drones of Carl Geary’s bass-work while Greg Elk jams on a rhythmic solo for the two-minute track. ‘Intro’ is not a fancy track and it’s not immediately gripping, but the point of the track is to slowly dig its way into your bones, and while not being outstanding, it is a solid entry-point into the album ‘Ouija’. The following track ‘Dead’ immediately punches in with the full brunt of this band’s energy, the guitar and bass dragging you through a pit of slime while the drums lurch across the music with a zombified groove, Mark Greening’s shining skill in his impressive drumming repertoire.
The vocal work on this album hits with a strong impression, both off of production and delivery by Virginia Monti, her vocals fuzzed out with distortive tones that distinctly enhance the dark and grimy vibe of this album. It’s not a trait present in many doom metal bands nowadays, taking such an aggressively lo-fi approach, yet Dead Witches hit it out of the park in every way.
As a debut album, Dead Witches come out with a strong showing with ‘Ouija’. While each track on this album is solid, there aren’t many absolute standout tracks. ‘Ouija’ is great at what it is intended to do, present Dead Witches to the public with a strong showing that gives the band a fantastic starting point with their debut album. Not only is it a strong listen front to back, it leaves you wanting and expecting greater things from this band in future.
I’ll be on the lookout, and you’ll want to be as well.
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Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: February 10th 2017
3. Drawing Down the Moon
5. Mind Funeral
6. A World Of Darkness