Released: 2010, Hells Headbangers
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I stumbled upon Acid Witch’s 2008 WITCHTANIC HELLUCINATIONS debut earlier this year, and quickly gained an appreciation for its unapologetically dirty brand of occult infused doom metal. Though it was rough around the edges, it had a certain charm to it that kept drawing me back in. Fast forward to the band’s new and appropriately titled follow up, STONED. STONED carries on with the best aspects of its predecessor and fixes many of the problems that hampered that release, for an end result of heavy, hazy tasty sludge.
The biggest difference you’ll hear on STONED is the improved production values. The guitars are still concrete thick and the vocals are still gnarly and low, but the mix is exponentially cleaner this time around. The band has really stepped it up in the songwriting department as well, with songs like “Witcfynder Finder,” “Trick or Treat,” “Stoned to the Grave,” and “Sabbath of the Undead” standing out as immediate highlights. The whole album has a trippy, b-movie horror theme to it, and the guys do a fine job of conveying that imagery through the tunes here. The prevalent organ work never gets overbearing and the riffs are straight ahead traditional metal, albeit slooower and wrapped in more cannabis than usual.
STONED sticks to the ethos of “keep it simple,” but Acid Witch manage to pull off quite a bit within that simplicity. The album rolls in at around 40 minutes in length and the songs never feel like they’ve outstayed their welcome, each keeping a pretty even pace with lots of variety. If you missed the first album or couldn’t pallet its gritty presentation, STONED is the perfect opportunity for a second chance. Dark and heavy in all the right places, Acid Witch hits the coffin nail on the head with STONED.