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Classy! This is a great doom album. Very slow and deep, with the vocalist(s?) alternating between a distant, moaning clean voice (like a twisted version of Ozzy) and a tortured, agonised cry. I believe these guys went on to later form Sunn O))) - this isn't quite as slow and minimalist as Sunn O))), but it's still pretty damn slow and grinding.
The highlights, i'd say, are the first and fourth tracks, but the album doesn't really work like that. It flows as one body, like a flow of heavy lava slowly crawling down the edge of a volcano, ready to devour an innocent village below. As far as I can tell the lyrics are of a Christian nature as apose to a Satanic philosophy. Doom metal has always seemed to take this stance, possibly to differenciate itself further from the speed and thrash metal of the 80s. When Slayer and Venom were donning pentagrams and upside-down crosses and speedily blasting through odes to devil worship and hellfire, Saint Vitus and Trouble crawled slowly through treks of dark revelation passages, sombre confessions and sermons of hell-to-sinners - arguably a much darker philosophy.
The structure is brilliant - it's a semi-progressive album, quite often going off and doing it's own thing as apose to following a song-like pattern, but then returning to certain bits to make sure it's hammered into our heathen brains. Definately an essential doom album, and very underappreciated it seems. Get it if you can.
Alot of us are familiar with the work of Steven O'Malley. Sunn O))), Teeth Of The Lion Rule The Divine, and, yes, Burning Witch. This album, being the only full-length before their split-up, has impressed me very much. Most doom bands mix their styles too much with boring death metal, but the best is always what we know as the stuff that really sticks to its Sabbath roots. This is definatly one of those bands. Some of us may be familiar with O'Malley's other work in Khanate, the ultra-slow, overdriven doom machine. This can be compared, and unfortunatly means it could just as well be a Khanate record. This is very slow and down-tuned doom at its best! Singer Edgy 69 does amazing vocals, sounding like the drug that creates doom. This voice and its great FX echoes through your mind when blasting this foul record! Lyrics can also be heard and recognized, thank goodness. Drums are at it's slowest and simplicity is all. This makes this record a very good background record. The vibratos in the guitar work make it o-so-Sabbath, taking you back in time. 'Crippled Lucifer' starts off with the mighty tunes of Warning Signs, an eight-and-a-half minute song which can be downloaded in saple form at http://www.southernlord.com/images/warning.mp3 . The rest of the CD takes on the gimmest forms by tearing you down in the exact same fashion as Warning Signs for more than an hour!! All great eight songs are long enough to take you to hell!
Burning Witch is definatly one of the better bands from the modern Sabbath reign! This one deserves THREE!!! \m/ \m/ \m/