Sunday, May 29, 2011

Witch Mountain-South of Salem

Self -produced

Of course you can't always judge a book or an album by it's cover, but I was interested in this album after just seeing the cover. This is the sophomore album from Portland's Witch Mountain, but it's been ten years since their debut. The band formed back in 1997, but have been on and off again as with activity over the years. I was in love with this album about two minutes into the opener "Wing of the lord". This album is for fans of Sleep, Electric Wizard, Acid King, YOB as well as Hendrix and Black Sabbath. Prepare for plodding doom with some thick barely moving riffs and a thundering rhythm sections. When Ula Plotkin's mesmerizing vocals kick in I was completely riveted. Her style is clean and very much influenced by an early 70's metal approach. At first I thought was very different from what I am used to with this type of music. It is, but after a play or two I found that it not only works, but that it actually sounds quite spectacular.
Music-wise many of the songs drone on with simple yet haunting patterns. They not only use repetition, but rather they manipulate it and pull you into their swirling path of down-tuned destruction. The epic Hare's Stare might be the album's strongest track due to the heavy grooves that are so easy to get into. This isn't a truly original album, but it quickly pulled me in and I look forward to listening to repeatedly over he next few months at least.

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