Sunday 11 June 2017

Witchfinder - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: May 2nd 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Witchfinder – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Snowy grave 11:13
2.Smoke a weed prayer 09:28
3.Brain's flare 11:20
4.Witchfinder 09:42

Band Members:

Clément - Bass, Vocals
Stan - Guitar
Thomas - Drums


Psychedelic Doom Rockers – Witchfinder – have a similar sound to fellow countrymen Monolord but with a spookier outlook on their Doom/Stoner based sound. Their self-titled debut album is an intriguing slice of epic based Doom/Stoner Rock. It has shades of Black Sabbath and Uncle Acid running through the album especially with the albums atmosphere and with the vocals as well.

Opening track – Snowy Grave – is a twelve minute track with the band playing a slower kind of progressive doom metal with elements of psychedelic stoner holding everything together. Obviously the album has a very sombre and gloomy feel with Witchfinder excelling in creating bleak sounds that leaves the album with a more chilling effect. The riffs are played at a slow pace at the start but the band do speed things up a bit towards the end when the heavier guitars appear.

Second track – Smoke A Weed Prayer – is where the album becomes more exciting and perhaps lives upto the usual influences of the Stoner Metal world. With a cool opening sound that will make you feel right at home. The band opts for a Black Sabbath style riff where the music is down-tuned and played deliberately slow. The vocals from Clément are dynamic from the start. Though it’s the music that will have you hypnotized as Witchfinder channel legendary doom/stoner sounds from the last forty years but with a more modern feel. This song is perhaps the most experimental sound on the entire album as the band tries their hand at creating heavier distorted noises. A very good idea in parts but the song works better when the band play a familiar style of Doom/Stoner metal.

Third track – Brain’s Flare – is an almost twelve minute epic with the song starting with a singular guitar that has quite industrial sound before the band return to their familiar riffs. The song is purely instrumental for the first couple of minutes before lead vocalist returns with another round of Ozzy/Uncle Acid inspired vocal madness. Though I had a hard time understanding what he was singing at times. Maybe that’s the point, I don’t know but it shouldn’t distract from your enjoyment of the song as Witchfinder impress yet again with the music.

Fourth track – Witchfinder – is perhaps the least exciting song on the album. It’s not a bad song, far from it. It’s a very good song, just not as exciting as the other three tracks on the album Still, Witchfinder do create some of the heaviest and spaced out sounds on the album. The musicianship is what holds your attention again as Witchfinder genuinely creates thrilling sounds that will impress the most jaded Doom/Stoner Metal fan.

The overall sound on the album is excellent and that’s down to no small part by Esben Williams of Monolord fame who mastered the album. Witchfinder’s debut album is a thrilling and exciting album that will find a loyal audience within the scene.

Words by Steve Howe