Label: Svart Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

In releasing their self-titled album Witch Mountain have obviously begun anew. Founding members Rob Wrong (guitars) and Nathan Carson (drums) join with Justin Brown (bass) and Kayla Dixon (vocals) to release a well-constructed argument for the continuing existence of the band. According to the band’s online presence, they make songs in the tune of doom/metal/blues. True enough, but the words seem out of order in listening to the new album – this is blues-metal with doom elements. To make a simplistic comparison, cross the song “Strange Fruit” with Led Zeppelin and you might end up close to what Witch Mountain give us here. Of course, there are many interludes featuring guttural vocals (for example) which might not suit the described meld, but they integrate well and become almost another element of rhythm in the songs. They will probably only be a turn-off for those people who absolutely cannot stand the vocal style. The album runs at just over half an hour, of which nearly half is the final track, “Nighthawk”. It begins with a bass and guitar duet, is joined by the ominous tapping of drums before taking a heavy turn. The addition of vocals settles the mood for a while, but given the length and the sense of impending doom, we know this song is going to take us on a journey into extremes. And so it does. “Nighthawk” is preceded by “Hellfire”. Imagine a harsh scene, the only movement is animated by an eerie wind as the clang of an abandoned bell heralds the vocalist. She strides along, sadly defiant, then she lets loose her powerful voice, pleading with the universe, “The devil done led me astray/She said the screen don’t tell no lies”. An acoustic accompaniment joins the howl of regret and so goes the shortest track of the album at two and a half minutes. Compared to the high contrast in the last two songs, the first half of the album has a consistent musical delivery. These words sound too passive to represent the strength of what Witch Mountain are dealing out though. “Midnight” opens the album with command – this ain’t elevator music! When the vocals start, your attention is demanded – there is passion here – music with a heartbeat and soul. There is nothing I dislike about this album except the length. It finishes too soon, which of course means I get to play it again, but I could easily listen to an album of twice the length. The previous incarnation of Witch Mountain is over, long live Witch Mountain!

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Midnight
  2. Mechanical World
  3. Burn You Down
  4. Hellfire
  5. Nighthawk

 

Line Up

  • Kayla Dixon – Vocals
  • Rob Wrong – Guitar
  • Justin Brown – Bass
  • Nathan Carson – Percussion

 

Links

facebook.com/witchmountain/

twitter.com/witch_mountain

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