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Space Witch "Arcanum" Album Review

Defying the neat confines of sub-genres that people like myself like filing bands under Space Witch weaves their own bong laden path. If you were judging them by the first half of the album you might be able to call them the doom metal equivalent to kraut rock. They employ some synth sounds taken from the annals of kraut rock. As the band's second album would be properly enjoyed to the fullest extent of the bong as a soundtrack for late night sailing sailing out of your mind. The riffs bubble out of the distortion like the liquid in a lava lamp. The first song is pretty drug droney until the ten minute mark the it gathers more muscle for a more burly steamroller of a riff. I think their strength is how they are able to keep you engaged with some kind of guitar melody. I will be the first to admit I am a tough audience for this sort of a thing as I am a singer and listen for voices. So if you are going to engage me with instrumentals your work is cut out for you.

Then vocals finally arrive. "Astro Cide" starts off with a more relaxed proggy feels and then tenses up midway in when the vocals chime in. The vocals encompass a husky bark that wait until the end of the phrase to turn into a growl. It speeds up into an almost black metal section at the end. The vocals to "Hex" are a more dramatic exclamation than what Kylesa used to do, but are in the same vein with pseudo occult poppycock for lyrics. It starts off as typical sludge and midway into the song things begin to get trippy as the more atmospheric jam centered elements of the song begin to take over.

The album ends with the 12 minute " Battle Hag". It takes them about four minutes to really get to the meat of the matter and lock into a big droning metal riff to give this the propulsion it needs. At the eight minute mark they start weaving in some guitar melodies. Upon the first listen it is easy to tell that these guys would go over well live at high volume. This band is without question good at what they do. Their strength lies in the guitars with the rest of the band keeping up. The question you have to ask is just how high you were planning on getting.

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