Sunday 13 November 2022

Witchfinder - Forgotten Mansion (Album Review)

Date Released: November 18th 2022. Record Label: MRS Red Sound. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Forgotten Mansion: Tracklisting



3.Lucid Forest

4.Ghosts Happen To Fade 

5.The Old Days


Clément Mostefai: vocals, bass

Stanislas Franczak: guitar

Thomas Dupuy: drums

Kevyn Raecke: keyboards


Forgotten Mansion is the new album from French Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal underground heroes Witchfinder and continues the gloomy trajectory they showed on their last couple albums but perhaps going in a more darker sonic based journey. Parts Uncle Acid, Monolord, SLEEP and the mighty Black Sabbath.

The album feels ultimately modern and classic sounding at the same time which the band brings into focus on the opening track Approaching. A song that is full of down-tuned FUZZY SLUDGE/STONER METAL grooves with a Psychedelic Doom essence leading the way. The vocals are clean based and superbly easy to follow with a sinister 70’s Doom Rock/Metal edge. Witchfinder play Psychedelic and Spaced Out Soundscapes on this album which is put to great use on this track when the fast-paced instrumental sounds appear. WItchfinder pulls out all the stops near the end of the song with first rate instrumental extended jams that leave little to the imagination. 

Second song Marijuana is obviously the most STONED OUT offering on the album but still sees Witchfinder honour their Doom Metal roots. Continuing their Sludge/Stoner Metal drive and heavy FUZZ/Amplifier based narrative of the opening track, Witchfinder pays homage to Black Sabbath but still retaining their own creative edge. The band have drafted in Haldor Grunberg on vocal duties on this track and it’s devilishly great team-up. The extended riffs are plentiful and quite progressive at the same time. The vocals do feel more distant in places but it’s a winning combination that ends up becoming one of the best tracks on the album.

Third song Lucid Forest has more of a Gothic and downbeat feel compared to the other tracks with sublime psychedelic keyboards and synths being used to great effect. The grooves are slower and not as threatening but Witchfinder still offers that LOW & SLOW aggressive attitude with the sludgy guitars doing their thing. There’s a slight Mars Red Sky vibe to this track which is no bad thing as that band remains my favourite act from the French Doom/Stoner Metal scene with Witchfinder not too far behind. However, I digress. This song is perhaps the most straightforward “Doom/Stoner” song on the album where Witchfinder focus upon playing to the best of their musical and creative abilities. Though, the best part of the song for me is Kevyn’s brilliant use of gloomy sounding Keyboards. 

The final two tracks Ghosts Happen To Fade and The Old Days continue the gloomy AMPLIFIER WORSHIP to full Psychedelic effect. The lyrics perhaps may not be the strongest part of Ghosts Happen To Fade but that track does contain the heaviest and trippiest sounds on the album. 

The Old Days allows Witchfinder to close the album in stunning fashion with one final round of bleak extended sounds and rhythms which the band have perfected over their last few releases.

The album is boosted by epic production values and the killer artwork by Branca Studio is an added bonus that shows you what to expect on the album. If you’re a true disciple or follower of the LOW & SLOW and AMPLIFIER WORSHIP community then you need this album in your record collection. It’s seriously that good. 

Forgotten Mansion is an understated gem from the French underground scene and this will hopefully bring the band wider attention and acclaim within the global Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Floriane at Shake Promotion for the promo.

Forgotten Mansion is available to buy on DD/Vinyl via MRS Red Sound from November 18th 2022.


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