Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Arkham Witch-"Get Thothed-Vol. II"

Metal On Metal Records

Arkham Witch* is a UK-based heavy/doom metal band that was formed in 2009 by vocalist/bassist Simon (The Lamp of Thoth) and drummer Emily (The Lamp of Thoth, ex-ex-Syteria). As of this writing, Arkham Witch is rounded out by guitarists Aldo "Dodo" Doom (ex-Let 'Em Burn, ex-Gods of Hellfire, ex-Diavolo, ex-Ironstorm) and Dirty John (ex-Let 'Em Burn, ex-BloodStream). This six-track EP, "Get Thothed -Vol. III", comes two or so years after the release of the single "Frost and Fire 2016" (a very cool Cirith  Ungol cover that can be downloaded for free by heading here.) Just in case the title isn't enough of a giveaway, this release is the 3rd (and ultimately last) one in a series of EPs where Arkham Witch plays The Lamp Of Thoth material. In the case of "Get Thothed-Vol. III" we are talking about previously-unreleased TLOT material. I'm not sure if all three of the EPs are like this (covers of previously-unreleased material from TLOT), but this particular one is. If my notes are correct (and they should be) the line-up for this EP was: Simon (vocals), Aldo "Dodo" Doom (guitars), Dirty John (guitars), Jayanta Brahma (bass), and Emily Ningauble (drums). As previously stated there are only six songs on this EP. That is all fine and dandy I suppose, but when you have a couple of long tracks like "The Beast and the Black Art" (a blazing hot hard & heavy/metallic doom cut that clocks in at 11:13 and is a fave moment of mine!) and "This Wretched World Forlorn" (this heavier than hell/slow and steady doom smasher runs ten minutes and forty eight seconds!) should you really call this disc a EP? If anything it is more like an expanded EP. And it is a f**king good one at that! Clocking in at over fifty minutes(!), "Get Thothed-Vol. II" starts off with the heavy & hard doom rocker that is "Emperor of Dreams". From there we are treated to one sick track after another with "Lord of the Midnight Hour" and "Wizard of the Gloves" being two of my other favorite numbers on this devilishly-good EP. The seven plus minutes long "Lord of the Midnight Hour" is a grand mixture of doom metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., and occult metal. It has a sinister vibe that should appeal to both old school doom rock/metal fans and anyone that likes the more twisted side of devil rock**. Running just over the seven minute mark, "Wizard of the Gloves" starts off sounding like classic Metallica before slowly morphing it's way into a doom-laden hard rock number that would make Ozzy proud! It might not be the most technical number of the lot, but there is no denying it's catchy nature. Closing things out on this extended-EP we have "The Marriage of the Ghouls". At 8:21 it carries a very familiar sound, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anything by reveling too much. It is another one of those slow and steady burners that suddenly comes to life at the very end of the song. Fairly solid overall, the song works as the EP's last track. Packaged in a cardboard sleeve with a two-page insert and a twelve-page booklet with lyrics for all of the EPs, "Get Thothed -Vol. III" is a nice gift for fans of the band as well as anyone that likes top-tier heavy/doom metal. It is also a sweet CD to listen to while we patiently wait for album number four from the guys and gal in Arkham Witch. Speaking of which, when will that drop again?

* It's a funny thing to think about now, but I didn't like Arkham Witch the first time I heard them (link). Their one track, "For Metal", appeared on the Metal On Metal Records' sampler "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5" and I thought it was dull. Fast forward a few months and the group's sophomore album, "Legions of the Deep" blew me away! That just goes to show the sometimes you can be wrong about first admissions. You can read my review of that album by heading here. If you don't already have it, "Legion of the Deep" comes highly-recommended as it makes for a must-have addition to any (hard & heavy) doom metal collections!!

**By "devil rock" I mean the kind of bands and artists that would use the image of Satan to shock people.

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