Witch Mountain

Mobile of Angels

Written by: BV on 31/01/2015 15:31:09

Witch Mountain is a fairly new discovery to me. Their fourth album, “Mobile of Angels”, and third overall with vocalist Uta Plotkin, would also prove to be the last of from the band in that particular incarnation as they have since replaced the vocalist with Kayla Dixon. It’s a confusing first impression, but nonetheless one that leaves me thinking that what we have here is a band with ambition and drive – immediately seeking to improve on their musical formula, the moment a band member picks up and leaves. Doom traditionalists to the very core, “Mobile of Angels” contains a mere five tracks; four of which transcend the 7-minute mark, however.

Album opener “Psycho Animundi” is a proper doom stomp in its most primeval form. A chugging, ominous guitar riff is the basic driving force of the track, consistently lurking and making its way forward with slow progress – like the slow decay and rot one often associates the sluggishness of doom metal with. The slow marching of the drumming further underlines the heavy doom stomp of this track, as something to be reckoned with is one is particularly into traditional doom. The vocals suit the music quite well, bringing a balance to lurking darkness of the riff with a somewhat piercing voice that is able to reach the higher registers. It is by no means a remarkable voice, but it is remarkably fitting nonetheless.

“Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)” stands out by being the longest track on the record. From the very first chords struck and notes played, it is entirely evident why the track is as long as it is. The aforementioned references to rot and decay are overly relevant here, as the track moves forward in tempo quite similar to process of decay. It seems to take forever, but when it nears the end it is more than clear that a lot has happened in the meantime. With a minimalistic approach to the soundscape, the first few minutes consist of little more than the vocals, backing vocals, a droning guitar riff and a sparse and a somewhat indifferent rhythm section that simply backs up the proceedings without ever standing out on their own. It’s commendable in a way, seeing as the soundscape is crisp and there aren’t too many overlapping, distracting moments of dazzling musicianship in play.

What seems to be both the strength and weakness of Witch Mountain is their intention of being doom traditionalists. Every single thing portrayed throughout “Mobile of Angels” has been heard before to some extent and the formulas rarely get mixed up to create something remotely original. However, they’re great at crafting these highly traditional soundscapes in a fairly exciting way and that is certainly commendable in its own right. It’ll be interesting to hear how the band progresses with their new vocalist, although I doubt they’ll steer away from their traditionalist roots any time soon.

6

Download: Psycho Animundi, Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)
For the fans of: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Sabbath Assembly, Jex Thoth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.09.2014
Svart Records


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