Acid Witch - Witchtanic Hellucinations
Razorback Records
Psychedelic Doom/Death
13 songs (44:03)
Release year: 2008
Acid Witch, Razorback Records
Reviewed by Charles
Acid Witch, formed last year and now releasing their debut full-lengther, fit nicely into the slightly overlooked subgenre of "Doomdeath". This strange label has often seemed like a real mismatch to me, and so it has been in the past. Who are the really great Doomdeath bands? Paradise Lost and Anathema both ditched the idea, albeit after making some great albums. Then there are "classics", such as Dream Death's Journey Into Mistery, but this doesn't seem enough to constitute a new type of metal to me- it's a worthwhile curiosity. My Dying Bride spring to mind, of course, but is their (slightly hit and miss) repertoire enough to lay the cornerstones for a subgenre?. Sometimes it seems as if we consider bands that alternate between styles between sections within songs as creating a new style, when really they are just drawing two or more existing ones together.

2008 has seen a couple of albums that, to my ears at least, start to make this genre label make a bit more sense. Firstly there is Coffins, whose Buried Death has gathered some well-deserved favourable attention. Then there is this album, Acid Witch's Witchtanic Hellucinations. This band shares with Coffins an ability to inject a real slower paced groove into death metal, but have a radically different feel to their Japanese contemporaries. The "doom" part of the equation here is the light-hearted, drug addled, almost psychedelic end of the genre that we would maybe term "Stoner". Look at that cover. Whilst the zombies on the front of Buried Death wanted to eat your intestines, this green, damn ugly witch wants to cook you up something unhealthy, probably with curious side-effects. In fact, in her own words as cackled in the amazingly alliterative introduction to this album, something to make you "hellucinate".

There's plenty of heavy, mid-low end grooves here, which are generously overlayed with 80s horror movie-esque keyboard sounds, bluesy guitar jams, and the odd hammond organ line. All the while belched vocals and strategically thrown-in tremolo lead riffs remind you that the "death" side of this partnership is not going away.

It's a very good, but not a great, album, with plenty of room for improvement, as well as a lot to build on. I would have liked to hear them kicking back a bit more and expanding on the solo sections, to get a real "jam band" feel going. At the moment, the bluesy solos seem more like a great idea than a great addition. The different elements gel pretty well, but if they experimented a bit more with the hellucinatory atmosphere, then they could take their music to exciting new places. Acid Witch could do with improving their musicianship and getting more variety into their songs, but they have the foundations for a really good band.

Killing Songs :
Into the Cave, Witches Tits
Charles quoted 74 / 100
Alex quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Acid Witch that we have reviewed:
Acid Witch - Evil Sound Screamers reviewed by Andy and quoted 74 / 100
Acid Witch - Midnight Movies reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Acid Witch - Stoned reviewed by Charles and quoted 80 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:28 pm
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