When I review something, the first few minutes are critical. It gives me a feeling of what is to come, an anticipation as it were, especially when it comes to reviewing a doom band. Things can go one of two ways in that first few minutes. It can take too long to engage or can engage too quickly and you feel a little cheated. Thirty seconds in to Witch Mountains self-titled album and I was well and truly captivated.
The album opens with ‘Midnight’ and from the first few bars of heavily distorted, sharp guitar tones and Kaylas outstanding vocals I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy this ride to the top of Witch Mountain. The band have been on a break for a good few years and have had a line up change from their last release, Mobile of Angels, back in 2014. Listening back to some of their older songs the music has certainly evolved in to something more. It still possess that air of tension and build up but with a subtle edge now that says they mean business.
‘Burn You Down’ is a great example of this, the first few minutes of the song guide along the mountain with groove and purpose before dropping into an almost classic rock gallop type riff and then emerging back in to the doom groove. Add a lovely lead section that when it ends, drops us back to the foot of the mountain with a mid section heavy enough to crush anything in its path. Kayla also shows us her darker side with some very impressive, almost black metal vocal.
‘Hellfire’ takes us on an almost blues rock acoustic tangent that sounds fantastic, and definitely something I could listen too more and more. If the band were to release an album based around this I don’t think there would be many complaints. Unfortunately it is the shortest of tracks at just over two minutes which was a little disappointing as it left me wanting so much more.
However, we then come to the finale, ‘Nighthawk!’ Wow. Now this is a track! At over fourteen minutes long it certainly opens the mind to what Witch Mountain are all about. It has everything! Groove, leads, power, killer vocal, bass lines with enough thunder to rival an approaching storm! Twists and turns, but in a good way.
Yeah this was an album worth waiting for and it certainly has made me a Witch Mountain fan, I just hope it’s not another four years before we hear from them again!
3.Burn You Down
25th May 2018