Saturday, 23 January 2016

Navajo Witch - "Ghost Sickness" (Album Review)

By: Hunter Young

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/02/2016
Label: Independent



Packed with a couple surprises, “Ghost Sickness” displays a heavy rock inspired approach that serves Navajo Witch extremely well. They execute the right amount riffs and hooks in the tracks, staying perfectly in the sludge pocket in both tone and execution, but with without being buried in a sonic quagmire.  Using the approach of genre stalwarts Conan and Dopethrone, their tone is incredibly bass-oriented and  set to a backdrop of some black magic imagery for the cover art, “Ghost Sickness” is a must have album for the black legions of the Sludgelord army. Seriously it just hammers the stake in your heart and puts you down.


“Ghost Sickness” CD//DD track listing:

1). The Sing
2). Black Curse
3). Rites of Divination
4). Collapse
5). Void
6). Altar of Snakes
7). March Towards Death
8). Ancestral Chants
9). Ghost Sickness

The Review:

The sludge/blackened doom genre is absolutely a favourite of mine. You have the harsh, unyielding sounds of cranked out gain and overdrive, coupled with  simple rock and blues backbeats getting your head bobbing like your glued to a roller coaster, all wrapped up with singers who gargle gravel and whiskey. Hearing all the bands that kind of sound the same, it's refreshing to hear a band like Navajo Witch, who riff and jam enough inside the heavy bubble, but somehow manage to make themselves stand out with their newest endeavour: “Ghost Sickness”.

Packed with a couple surprises, “Ghost Sickness” displays a heavy rock inspired approach that serves Navajo Witch extremely well. They execute the right amount riffs and hooks in the tracks, staying perfectly in the sludge pocket in both tone and execution, but with without being buried in a sonic quagmire.  Using the approach of genre stalwarts Conan and Dopethrone, their tone is incredibly bass-oriented with so much gain and fuzz; it's like being buffeted by a storming oven. You get every nuanced chug, pick scrapes and then somehow, when they bring in some chops, you have a hot black blues band cranking your ear hole wide open. Audiophiles who have a nasty streak will have fun digging through the layers from these guys.

As for the bonuses, firstly, they manage to keep it interesting by jamming different tempos and styles into the album. Some are full on sludge, like "Void", and some have a much blacker approach, sounding like a crunchier Autopsy, demonstrated on the likes of "Altar of Snakes" and "Black Curse". It's a full on grab bag of treats I tell ya!

The second bonus comes on "March Toward Death", and this is the one that set the hooks for me. At 7 ½ minutes, it's a heavy ass song, but then it gets sublimely bluesy and just comes off as a simple change up, until you get to under 3 minutes, then, lo and behold!, Wino lends his absolutely mystical pipes to some searingly riffs.  Set to a backdrop of some black magic imagery for the cover art, “Ghost Sickness” is a must have album for the black legions of the Sludgelord army. Seriously it just hammers the stake in your heart and puts you down.

“Ghost Sickness” is available 26/2/2016 here



Band info: bandcamp | facebook


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