Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Shadow Witch - Disciples Of The Crow (Album Review)


Release date: December 15th 2017. Label: Salt Of The Earth Records. Format: CD/DD

Disciples Of The Crow - Tracklisting

1. Love Could Be Like This
2. Reap
3. Cruel
4. Disciples Of The Crow
5. Stranger Skies
6. The Sea
7. Beneath The Veil
8. Dead Heroes

Members

David Pannullo (bass)
Jeremy H. Hall (guitars)
Doug “Beans” Thompson (drums)
Earl Walker Lundy (vocals, mellotron, samples)

Review

Psychedelic Doom Metallers – Shadow Witch – return with their new album – Disciples Of The Crow. Coming about 16 months of their debut album which the whole Doom/Stoner Metal community rated quite highly including myself.

Newly signed to Salt Of The Earth Records it's good to see the band expand more on their progressive sound with opening track- Love Could Be Like This – creating quite an uplifting Doom/Stoner Metal vibe. It's very demonic parts but it's so damn catchy with the band writing 80s Classic sounding Doom/Hard Rock lyrics. The vocals from Earl have matured since the last album. He's more focused and his vocals soar to new heights. The music is still influenced by Mastodon, Sabbath and Clutch but that's a good thing. As at least Shadow Witch are giving their own spin on the Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal sound.

Second track – Reap – is a more soulful occult/doom rock sound with the band adding a more blues/funk guitar that tries a little too hard to merge 70s Doom Rock with a 90s Alt Rock/Stoner Metal feel. It's still a very good song to listen to. I wasn't a fan of the different funk based moods that this song contains. Earl's vocals are very dramatic and OTT at times but I feel that's the whole point of this song.

Third track – Cruel – sees the band return to winning ways with a CLUTCH inspired guitar sound. This is high octane Blues fuelled Stoner Rock with a gloomy psychedelic score being the main focus of the song. This is the style of music where Shadow Witch excel at. It's superbly played and the psychedelic progressive riffs only endear you to the band even more. The different styles of music is another highlight with the band switching to a more sombre classic rock/doom rock sound towards the end of the song.

Fourth track – Disciples Of The Crow – has Shadow Witch become a fully fledged DOOM METAL Band. As they leave all their fancy and imaginative psychedelic stoner sounds behind and embrace a more demonic vision. Earl's vocals are bang on point here when sung against the slowly played macabre sounds. The atmosphere becomes heavier and more frantic as the mood of the album will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The second half of the album is equally as good as the first half if not better. The Sea and and Dead Heroes are perhaps the standout tracks on the later stages of the album. As the songs sees the band experiment with their sound more by adding different elements of music. Some trippy post-rock style sounds appear on The Sea. It's quite a slow-paced affair to start off with. Though Shadow Witch know when to play a superb sounding progressive doom metal melody that offers a few surprises along the way.

Shadow Witch raise the ANTE and EXCITEMENT in every aspect with the album. Shadow Witch could have easily released Sun Killer Part Two. But Nope. The band took another route and have released a more daring and genuinely exciting record.

Disciples Of The Crow is a Stoner/Doom Metal Masterpiece. I know that term gets branded around too easily and very quickly at times. However I stand by my review. This album is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Leanne at Mettle Media PR for the promo. Disciples Of The Crow will be released via Salt Of The Earth Records on CD/DD from December 15th 2017.

Links:

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