Friday 6 January 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Dead Witches - "Ouija"

By: Josh Nichols

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/02/2017
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds

This is another perfectly fuzzed out slab of doom from a band that doesn’t seem to know any other way.

“Ouija” CD//DD//LP track lisiting:

2. Dead
3. Drawing Down The Moon
4. Ouija
5. Mind Funeral
6. A World of Darkness

The Review:

Dead Witches is the latest incarnation of occult doom perpetrated on an unsuspecting world by Mark Greening (former Electric Wizard, also of Ramesses, With The Dead) and vocalist Virginia Monti (Psychedelic Witchcraft). With the help of Carl Geary on bass and the dearly departed Greg Elk on guitar, they have churned forth “Ouija” for your consideration, meditation and devastation. They aren’t trying to reinvent the genre here.  With their history and pedigree, you wouldn’t expect them to.  This all to brief slab of sludgy goodness is just the latest chapter in their already stellar careers.

Ouija” creeks to life with a classic doom intro of rain on organ with cavernous guitar emanations, perhaps giving rebirth to the cover arts dead witch in the graveyard, courtesy of the always epic and over the top Goatess Doomwych. The intro gives way to “Dead”, a lumbering slow burn with crisp percussion and thick riffs, along with our first taste of Virginia Monti’s vocals, hazy and slightly distorted, with a tinny almost ham radio quality, like a voice from beyond.

On “Drawing Down the Moon” everybody flexes just a little. They take the tempo up a notch, Mark Greening gets loose on the kit, the riffs get thicker and more fuzzed out and the vocals wail and get more insistent as the song progresses. The back half of the track revs up to an unhinged gallop as Greg Elk works out a brief keening solo that struggles for life over the top of the jam session created by the rhythm section. The title track, “Ouija” follows, stepping the pace back to the lumbering burn of “Dead” but with a heavier back beat at the chorus.  This track is also the best showcase for Virginia Monti’s vocals, which find more range and swagger throughout. 

The final two tracks are a perfect pairing of heavy doom, and my favorites of the album.  “Mind Funeral” is the heaviest track and Mark Greenings finest behind the kit. Engulfed by a huge riff and a filthy vocal delivery from Monti, Greening throws away the wing nut on the high hat and proceeds to lay about the place, dealing fills at every opportunity for an epic highlight. They segue with ease as Greening cools it down with the 90 second intro to “A World of Darkness”. Everything goes quiet and a girls voice says “you’re gonna die up there” and they launch into another thundering riff, another stellar jam, another perfectly fuzzed out slab of doom from a band that doesn’t seem to know any other way.

“Ouija” is available to preorder buy here

Band info: facebook