Tuesday 4 April 2017

Space Witch - Arcanum (Album Review)

Release date: June 10th 2017. Label: HeviSike Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Arcanum – Tracklisting

1. Cosmonoid
2. Astro Genocide
3. Hex
4. Battle Hag (With Noise)


Daz Rowlands - guitar, FX
Dan Mansfield - drums
Peter Callaghan - electronics, noises
Tomas Cairn - bass guitar


Stoke-on-Trent, in England to me is synonymous with pottery, coal mines, steel mills, Michelin Tires and Stoke City FC and Port Vale FC, mainly the latter two. Yeah, I'm a footie nutter. This little knowledge about the place has increased considerably with the introduction of Space Witch. And in a very good way too, I may add. Somehow I have managed to miss out on them, despite having been around since 2007. After several releases - demos, EPs, singles and one full-length - 'Arcanum', their second album, is here and it's bloody amazing. Couldn't have picked a better introduction to this band, you hear?!

Spacey, trippy and mind-altering, ‘Arcanum’ leads me down a doomy progressive path I haven’t experienced in a long time. Lost ancient Middle Eastern sounds are cleverly incorporated, especially in guitar parts, which, when played along the galactic electronics and effects, launches Space Witch’s fabulous journey through galaxies and supernovas, and it fucks with my mind. And I love it! With eyes closed, my body relaxes and my mind takes off finding solace in the amazing sights the band offers.

The quarter-hour long opener, ‘Cosmonoid, is the catalyst. Instrumental, this gigantic opus puts me in the right frame. Keeping the pace at a slower rate, it explodes at different stages and towards the last few minutes, it gradually builds up and gets heavier by the second.

‘Astro Genocide’ picks up where ‘Cosmonoid’ left off but it is more sinister. The riffs are angrier while the music is still spacey, creating a very interesting vibe. Halfway through Space Witch opens wide fucking open and tear it up. Fast, brutal and in your face. Cacophony unleashes the sledgehammer that is ‘Hex’. Once the music kicks in, the band pulverises anything in their way. About halfway through a respite is given allowing me to float in a sea of stars as the music slows down…..for a minute! A gradual increase guides me through a galactic storm only to reach the force of the beginning of the song.

Travelling through uncharted dimensions, ‘Battle Hag’ is space and head trip if there ever was one. Twisting, turning, spinning and floating Space Witch pilot us all elegantly away from imminent doom, or maybe they aren’t?! Regardless, as the song ends I’m on the way to….somewhere else. Whether or not it’s a good place or a bad only time can tell. In the meantime, all I want to do is allow Space Witch to break me down and mould me into a new, more enlightened, being. Can’t ask for more!

Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Dewar PR for the promo. Arcanum will be available buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via HeviSike Records from June 10th 2017.