Monday 21 March 2022

Elk Witch - Beyond The Mountain (Album Review)

Release Date: March 18th 2022. Record Label: StoneFly Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Beyond The Mountain - Tracklisting

1.Cape Foulweather 04:58

2.The Woodsmen 06:55

3.Llao's Island 06:59

4.Coyote and the Wind's Daughters 05:37

5.Greybeard Arsenal 06:11

6.The Plight of Valus 06:24


Deven Andersen - Guitar / Vocals

Darren Wostenberg - Bass

Joe Coitus - Drums


Beyond The Mountain is the new release from Doom/Stoner Rockers Elk Witch and is a reworking and re-recorded version of their 2021 debut release The Mountain. This release now has two new songs being added into the mix. I never found the time to review The Mountain but I did enjoy the hell out of it with Elk Witch employing a classical style of Psych Doom/Stoner Metal with Prog Rock/Metal flourishes to give Elk Witch a more muscular presence.

Beyond The Mountain is a much richer audio experience with Elk Witch employing a heavier style of delivery compared to the original release. The album is more grounded with better production values but still allowing Elk Witch to stay true to the vision of the original EP.  If you dig legendary bands such as Black Sabbath, The Obsessed and The Sword then Elk Witch will embrace you with open arms on this release. You can tell from the stunning opening track Cape Foulweather that these guys know how to DOOM ON with their lovely homage to Black Sabbath and The Sword that just moves along at its own creative rhythm. The Psychedelic vibes gives Elk Witch an almost modern day feel but the majority of the music is mostly rooted in classic 70s and 90s Doom/Stoner Metal.

The album has some epic guitar solos coming your way from one of the album's standout tracks The Woodsmen. Moving between The Obsessed classic Doom Metal sound and bringing The Sword’s riffs still allow this song to be quite exciting and original in its own right. Throw in some Psychedelic Boogie based grooves and Elk Witch are starting to fully get in the mood of playing their own stylish sounds on this release.

Llao’s Island is a little bit more laidback with the opening sounds before adding more subdued levels of Psychedelic Stoner Rock with an ever so cautious Gloomy approach. There is a buoyant Post-Rock energy with this song and the instrumental work is perhaps the best of this release for myself personally. The vocals could have done with more volume but this is another standout track to include to the mix. There is a more aggressive element to this album when the band starts playing the heavier DOOMED OUT riffs towards the end of the song.

Fourth track Coyote and the Wind’s Daughters is up before them. This is a track that is perhaps the most SABBATHIAN based track on the album. With vocals, lyrics and music reminding myself yet again of that great band but at least Elk Witch do inject their own creative flavour into the mix with a rawer and distorted style of music.

The two new tracks Greybeard Arsenal and The Plight Of Valus are perhaps the main attraction for this release and they don’t disappoint either with Elk Witch offering almost thirteen minutes of more of the same great Doom/Stoner Metal riffs that has preceded it. Greybeard Arsenal is the strongest of the two new tracks with everything a bit more clearer on this part of the album.

Elk Witch have now released the definitive version of their acclaimed debut EP that has better production values and the additions of the two new songs make this an outstanding release in its own right.

Words by Steve Howe


Facebook | BandCamp