Sunday 3 September 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Dead Woman's Ditch - “Seo Mere Saetan”

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 27/08/2017
Label: Third I Rex

Dead Woman's Ditch have composed a genre-bending journey of music and words, that is certain to create an atmosphere you will not soon forget.

“Seo Mere Saetan” CD//DD track listing

1. The Ugly Truths
2. Failed To Rot
3. We Are Forgiven
4. Break The Mind
5. Mr. Kipper
6. Crusade

The Review:

It is hard to be truly unique as a black metal group on the scene. So many far afield concepts, music and vocal styles make being an original artist unusual in what is already a subgenre of metal that pushes boundaries and buttons aplenty. Consider a few black metal innovators, such as Deathspell Omega, Ruins of Beverast and the Meads of Asphodel among many others. Each of them pioneered elements that were in many cases never quite repeated or else became part of our contemporary canon. Enter Dead Woman's Ditch, a worthy successor to these artists.

Now on their second full length – though technically its their fourth record, following two demos and a full length before this – Dead Woman's Ditch composes a genre-bending journey of music and words. As with a lot of metal, there is a lot of conceptual vision happening, yet it is a stunning sound that is far more exciting. The quartet, composed of guitarist/vocalists George Rhone and Glenn Charman (known for his live work with Electric Wizard), Chris Rust on bass and drummer Robin Corbet, is certain to create an atmosphere you will not soon forget.

The release, intended to tell the darker stories of the settlement of Somerset, UK, comes at you with a fresh dual-vocal style. With the opener, "The Ugly Truths," the listener gets one part sung or shouted and the other side with a growl most associated with death metal, but increasingly with black metal today. You hear this attack throughout the recording. It is jarring at first, but spellbinding going forward. It is the equivalent of a knife in the boot – it is not flashed every song. Just enough to remind you it is there, and to fill the air with menace.

While you may dig the black metal touches, the beauty of the new Dead Woman's Ditch release is its diversity. "Failed to Rot" shares some psychedelic and sludge influences in the guitar work. "We Are Forgiven" has hints of doom and haunting vocal effects to ballast the track. There seems to be a great deal of thought and intention across songs, with the pairing of each truly standing out. By the time of "Break the Mind," with its blackened doom ala Barathrum, you come to appreciate how well done “Seo Mere Saetan” really is. Rhone and Charman in particular elevate the album and make it a stifling experience.

What makes “Seo Mere Saetan” additionally fascinating is the blend of gear used.  In one instance, a drum machine is looped through a guitar amp and pedals. There are plenty of subtle vocal and bass production tricks that will have you listening again to confirm what you heard. The conclusion, "Crusade," highlights many of these aural touches – intense drums, a wonderfully chosen sound clip and more that must be heard – that make the release an infernal triumph.

“Seo Mere Saetan” is available here:

Band info: bandcamp || facebook