Wednesday, 31 August 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Shadow Witch - "Sun Killer"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/08/2016
Label: Snake Charmer Coalition



This record is a fine debut and places the band amongst the retro rock/doom/metal scene but shows that they have a unique sound and approach. If you have been enjoying bands such as Demon Eye, R.I.P, Uncle Acid, Satans Satyrs, Electric Citizen and so on, well, Shadow Witch are better then some of them and can mix it with the best of them!


Sun Killer” CD//DD track listing:

1. (D.O.A.) Anticipation
2. Sun Killer
3. Wreckage
4. Blitzkrieg
5. Blood on the Vine
6. Creeper
7. Snout
8. Headless Army
9. Lamp Lite
10. Shadow Witch
11. Occupy
The Review:

This Kingston, New York group are only a year or so old, but they sound... much older. Coming on as a mixture between The Doors, Black Sabbath, stoner rock and even trad metal, these guys lay down some fearsome grooves and bring a laid back vibe to even the more frenetic tracks (such as the title track). From the opener, “(D.O.A) Anticipation”, you know what you are getting; grooves, doomy vibes and some weighty riffs all wrapped up in a distinctly American package.

There are some tracks which take on a mournful aspect such as “Wreckage”, while “Blitzkrieg” has a distinctly metallic flavour (circa 1980). Truthfully a couple of tracks are just grooves and there are some overlong intros which break up the flow a little, but overall the record is one of quality with aspects such as the use of keyboards for atmosphere, lifting it above a lot of the retro rock out there at the moment. The intro of “Creeper” exemplifies the aspects of the record I did not enjoy so much, but then the keyboards lift it and the band really kick in and it is fantastic.

Over the eleven tracks, the band are consistent with song lengths (the aforementioned “Creeper” is a little longer) and venture into thematic realms not often covered by po-faced bands of the retro rock genre; Tolkien-esque whimsy does not abound on tracks such as “Snout”- which is a very dirty ditty indeed.  More traditionally metallic sounds and themes are present for “Headless Army” and the record has gathered a fine head of steam by that point.

For the closing stretch, there is a mixture of psychedlic sounds (“Lamp Light”), groove based desert style rock (the band's theme song) and the raucously rocking finale of “Occupy”. This record is a fine debut and places the band amongst the retro rock/doom/metal scene but shows that they have a unique sound and approach. If you have been enjoying bands such as Demon Eye, R.I.P, Uncle Acid, Satans Satyrs, Electric Citizen and so on, well, Shadow Witch are better then some of them and can mix it with the best of them!

‘Sun Killer is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

RIYL: Black Sabbath, The Doors, Demon Eye, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats  

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