Dead Witches/Witchthroat Serpent – Doom Sessions, Vol. 666
Reviewed: September 2021
Released: 2021, Heavy Psych Sounds
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
The good stoners at Heavy Psych Sounds have been on a roll since last summer. Releasing volume after volume of their DOOM SESSIONS split LPs that pair some of doom’s heavyweight contenders against each other, the resulting winner is almost always the listener. But their most recent volume 6(66) is arguably their best offering yet, presenting some monster offerings from the UK’s Dead Witches and France’s Witchthroat Serpent.
Boasting 3 tracks and a radio edit, VOL. 666 clocks in at just shy of 40 minutes – meaning you’ve got a helluva lot of horrific doom waiting to ooze through your speakers. Dead Witches present what may be the best track yet in their catalog with the Exorcist inspired 14-minute epic “Dragged Into Emptiness.” The first half of the track sounds like typical Dead Witches fare – loud swaggering riffs complemented by Spring Thompson’s siren call; it’s as good as you’d expect it to be. But then, oh boy…after a momentary lull, the energy builds into a massive crescendo which explodes into a wall of possessed screams and clashing instruments that’s almost hypnotic in its reverberations. And as you’re battered, bruised, fighting for air, the crisis subsides and exits as meanderingly slow as it arrived. Amazing track, no doubt.
I wasn’t as familiar with Witchthroat Serpent, but their approach offers a pleasant contrast to the mania of “D.I.E.”. Sounding almost like Uncle Acid after a bottle of cough syrup, the riffs on “The Fall of Whitewood” and “Cyanide Laced” are full of slow moving hooks with clean, crisp vocals shining through the fog. It’s a pair of solid tunes that’s definitely prompted some additional discovery on my part into their back catalog, and I’d encourage other doomphiles unfamiliar with their craft to do the same.
And as a bonus, there’s a radio edit of “D.I.E” that’s basically cut down to 1/3 of its full length counterpart. It’s interesting to listen to the 2 versions and hear where they’ve chosen to make the edits, but the radio edit almost comes across as a different song entirely and has its own more concentrated vibe.
DOOM SESSIONS VOL. 666 is going to be a tough split to beat, but given the track record of the previous splits leading up to this, I’m psyched to hear who’s on deck for lucky #7. Dead Witches and Witchthroat Serpent may not be the biggest names in doom circles, but after hearing these tunes you’ll be ready to question why.
1. D.I.E. – Dragged Into Emptiness (Dead Witches)
2. The Fall of Whitewood (Witchthroat Serpent)
3. Cyanide Laced (Witchthroat Serpent)
4. D.I.E. – Dragged Into Emptiness, Radio Edit (Dead Witches)
Niko Lass – Drums
Lo Klav – Bass
Fredrik Bolzann – Vocals, Guitars
Mark Greening – Drums
Oliver Hill – Guitars
Sam Cutbush – Bass
Spring Thompson -Vocals