Burn your sage, burn your candles, burn your kush… it’s ritual time! I know I’m not the only one who likes to put on mood music for their witchy rituals! I’ve been digging deeper into doom, sludge, down-tempo, post-metal etc and finding different bands here and there for a special witchy playlist. Some like to keep it light; I love it heavy. This list of albums is just some of what I’ve run into via YouTube, metal shows I’ve recently covered, and new music that’s dropped within the last few months!
Amenra – Mass VI
The room is dark, and there is nothing but a lone standing figure piercing the void. His back is towards you, glistening with sweat. Projections of shapes and shadows dance across his heavily tatted flesh. The music starts fast and vengeful, then drops to a slow crawl through black tar. His body violently twisting, appearing headless as the band shreds through you. Shifting from quiet, soft vocals to a chaotic whirlwind of “FUCK!” and back again (in at least three different languages mind you). Amenra is a Belgian down tempo/doom metal band I photographed at Holy Diver in Sacramento, CA on July 9th, and it was one hell of a show. There was some intense energy happening onstage that I couldn’t help but to feel. That same intense energy level is carried throughout all of their recorded works. I’ve been binging on Amenra for a little bit now, and I can safely they’ve got some voodoo in those cords. Aside from a live album called… Alive, most of their albums are entitled “Mass” with a Roman numeral. Mass VI being their latest one, and the most haunting, I’ve added this to my witchy playlist for sure.
They are CURRENTLY on tour with Converge, Neurosis, and Will Haven until the end of July. Then they will embark on a European tour for Fall (mostly in France)! Find your city here.
Windhand – Self Titled
This album sounds like the fire of a woman; the awakening of a violent Goddess. Passion, rage, lethargy, my period… all of it. The slow, deep thrashing intertwining with that feral feminine voice gives me chills every time. Not too long ago I went on an Electric Wizard binge (pattern) and ran out of music. YouTube then switched albums on me from Electric Wizard to this one. At first I was hesitant because I didn’t want to end my marathon, but the chance to try new music was too tempting, so I let it go on. Good thing I did. I’ve been playing it every morning for about a week now, never gets old. I can’t get over the feeling it gives me (the last song especially) when I put it on.
It just so happens they did a tour back in Spring and I missed it /ugly cry/. BUT! I found out that they’re doing another North American Tour this Fall annnnnd they’re working on a new album called Eternal Return around the same time /ugly girly squeal/. Check out these Windhand dates!
Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
Slow swinging riffs; the arms of a willow tree at the mercy of the howling wind that is this voice. Dropping you at every bar, lifting you just enough to have you dive down again. Laced with demonic laughter, ear-shattering static, and fucked up “Stories of Old”; acidic throat matched with callused fingertips – the heavy never stops.
“Psychedelic sex gore” is how I described Electric Wizard’s recent show in San Francisco on April 30th, and their recorded albums aren’t any different. Dopethrone is the album I throw on for practically everything, but it’s a pre-ritual favorite. Everything is lit: my sage, my candles, me… it’s perfect.
And as for “The Witchfinder”…
Fister – No Spirit Within
I AM KUUUURRRRUUUUUU!!!!
Pure. Fucking. Sludge. If I were to summon some shit… this is what I’d play. Fister just drags you through the muck, then flails you around like a ragdoll for a second before slamming you face down into the black. I couldn’t stop playing this album for a while (pattern); I was sucked into the abyss that is No Spirit Within. This is their latest album which came out on May 18th. Fister had a handful of shows last month and I’m dying to see if they’ll have more (west coast *cough cough* CALIFORNIA *cough*). Until that time, I only have the album and will have to make do trying to summon this… Kuru.
*Update: 7/12* Fister has just hinted on our Facebook page that they’ll see me in November… /clutches chest/
Lesser Glow – Ruined
Streaks of blood running through the Nile. Pyramids reduced to mere ash. An empire falls. Entrancing Ancient Egyptian energy mixed with unapologetic post-metal/doom. I can feel the Earth crumble beneath me as if I were about to float away. Streams of light guitar lulling you into a rich bliss before you’re crashed into a wall of chaos. This album made me think of the Egyptian dynasty immediately – a metalhead Cleopatra. Oddly enough, they had the same kind of concept in mind as well (not the metalhead Cleopatra… although I wish).
Lesser Glow’s Ruined has been blaring in my ears since its release on June 8th. Hard to believe that this is their first album together. I had an amazing interview with the band’s guitarist Ben about their overall creative process and the deeper meaning behind these tracks (stay tuned). Ben DID tell me that they were thinking about Fall tour dates so keep your Ankhs crossed!
CHRCH – Light Will Consume Us All
There is no “u” in CHRCH…
Three dark hymns, each blacker than the last, CHRCH delivers unto us these mystical cords from their latest album Light Will Consume Us All. Released May 11th, this album has been my sanctuary – a melodic indica with burts of cocaine. With every track, you sink deeper into a spellbinding void of a hellish Heaven you can’t escape. Low twisted screams, heavy growls, shredded vocals ripping through. Slow to start. Forever building and reigniting my anticipation just to hit me with the thunder of the lowest bassline I’ve heard in a long time. And to think they’re from my hometown in Sacramento, CA! We almost went to the same school (at the same time? C/O 08′!). Crazy shit.
The song names and their order made me think this album was about life and death (mostly because I thought I died at the Ghoul show that one time). However that’s not what they were going for per say. I know this because I got a chance to chat with the lead singer Eva for an exclusive interview (stay tuned). CHRCH will be going on tour this Fall and this is one sermon you’ll not want to miss.