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Sometimes, I come across albums that blow me away so much, that I will attempt to write music of my own. While usually, I attempt to either write melodic doom metal similar to Anathema's The Silent Enigma and The 3rd and the Mortal's Tears Laid in Earth, Burning Witch once inspired me to attempt to write drone metal. Although I ended up never finishing what I tried to create, it is interesting how one album can be so original, so well-performed, and overall so great, that I would want to change the direction of the music I would want to write. Crippled Lucifer (Seven Psalms for Our Lord of Light) by Burning Witch was one of the first albums to have brought me into the dark, underground, realm of extreme doom metal. Because of that, this is one of my all-time favorite albums.
What I love about this album is how Burning Witch touches on several different styles of doom. They alternate between traditional doom, sludge, drone, funeral doom, and stoner rock. Most of the bands I can think of that combine elements of sludge and drone are lightened greatly by post-rock elements (such as Dark Castle or Year of No Light), or they play a bit too raw for my liking (such as Moss or Whitehorse). However, Burning Witch had more of a stoner-influence on their music rather than post-rock, and they also threw in some melodic riffs for some odd accessibility. The riffs are never too depressing, or too noisy, and yet, they pound like sledgehammers. Also, while the vocals mostly consist of abrasive screams, Edgy 59 also throws in some strange clean vocals every now and then throughout the album. To me, his clean vocals sound like Ozzy while on several tabs of acid. It adds a cool psychedelic touch to the music, and they specifically stick out on 'Warning Signs', 'Communion' and 'Sacred Predictions'. Lastly, the biggest highlight for me would be the atmospheric drone interludes that really stick out during 'Communion', 'Country Doctor', 'Tower Place', and 'Sea Hag'.
The icing on the cake would be the interesting artwork. The darkly beautiful imagery of occult paintings and sketches (all printed in a black and gold color scheme) create a cool visualization of the music for the listener. The only negative I really have for the album is how the lyrics for only three songs ('Warning Signs', 'Sacred Predictions', and 'Tower Place') are printed. These songs are about mental illness, depression, and drug addiction, written with such sincerity that you can't help but wonder if these are based on actual events. Since the lyrics to those songs are written so well, I'm curious to know what the other songs are about.
So, I would say that people who listen to Cough, Monarch, and Thou will love this. Also, things to watch out for on the album are the clean vocals on 'Warning Signs', the drone interlude on 'Communion', the intro to 'History of Hell', the intro to 'Tower Place', and the point in 'Sea Hag' in which the music starts to pick up.