Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Iron Witch - "Single Malt"

Iron Witch have no bones about showing off their influences, 1 minute into "A .45 To Pay The Rent" the first track off of their newest EP "Single Malt" and you'll know you have England's answer to eyehategod. All 5 tracks here are rife with backwoods sludginess. Upbeat shuffles give way to crawling, grimy passages and there is alot of push and pull contrast that keeps these tracks very fresh. Tunes like "Booze Blues", "Jailhouse" and the EP's title track "Single Malt" will have you craving more and hitting that replay button due to the tracks being more to the point and a little less drawn out than you'd expect from a band who writes in this style especially. The vocalists resemblance to Mike Williams in style and voice is quite uncanny, as is the bands sound in general when compared to eyehategod, but make no mistake, Iron Witch are not EHG copycats at all, while there are striking similarities, this band also does it's own thing and does it quite well. Iron Witch loves to play with tempo changes and flawlessly swings from one midtempo face melting riff, to a foot stomping blues swagger and drags us down into the swampy abyss and back again. The over 7 minute "The Cruelty Of Mankind" closes this EP out with more of the same brutal, swampy sludge previously served up. The riffs ooze out of the speakers and corrode everything in it's angry path. Overall I'd say Iron Witch's "Single Malt" is today's blue collared, working man's soundtrack to the blues. Crack open a bottle of cheap whiskey, put this disk in the player, crank it to the max and see if you dont agree with me! You can find Iron Witch on Facebook, give them a "Like" and buy yourself a copy of this awesome disk, they've got awesome shirt designs too so support the band and grab one or two!

Wizard's Beard - "Four Tired Undertakers"

Citing influences such as Iron Monkey, eyehategod, and Crowbar, Wizard's Beard relentlessly churn out 6 dirty and sludgy tunes on their newest offering titled "Four Tired Undertakers". Kicking off this mammoth disk is "Subirse El Muerto" and from the get-go you know what your in for. Thick, crusty riffs, that brutally trudge along and are accompanied by seething, hate filled vocals that toe the line between black and death metal. If epic dirges are what you crave then Wizard's Beard are serving it up your way. "Adandon The Wolf" is up next and clocking in at 6:16 is the albums shortest track. This one is just ever so slightly more upbeat, and full of eerie, dissonant guitar chords and really cool timing changes. Wizard's Beard have a way of creating a strange aura with their music, at times this band gets so slow that you seem to drift away, the pounding, heavy riffs invoke images of trying to walk through quicksand with led boots on, a hopeless and sinking feeling that you dont want to stop feeling, if that makes any sense? The tracks "Daemon" and "Harbinger" of perfect examples of what I'm talking about, 2 tracks of unbridled sludge worship clocking in at over 20 minutes between the two epic offerings. I must also point out the great production quality here as well, the thick wall of bass and guitars will have walls rattling at even the lowest volumes on your home stereo, and let's not forget this band only has 1 guitarist and they are bringing a heaviness to the table that completely crushes most other bands with 2 axemen in their ranks! "Seeth Inside" just might be my favorite of the 6 tracks here. Mixing equal parts Sourvein, with eyehategod and the fluid key changing of classic Acid Bath, this track does nothing but slay for almost 7 straight minutes leaving you helpless against it's barrage of dragging riffery. This is doom for the guy who likes it not only a little slower than usual, but with a bigger dose of anger and a front man who's vocal chords sound like they are made of molten lava. This isnt the disk you want to hear when your happy because it's friday, you just got paid and you got a hot date tonight. This is the first disk you will reach for when you've had enough and want to tune the outside world out. Find Wizard's Beard on Facebook, hit that "Like" button and grab yourself a copy of "Four Tired Undertakers", buy a shirt too and while you at it grab their 1st EP "Pure Filth" as well, and tell them to come play in the USA, I can only imagine how devastating this band is in a live situation.