Friday, January 13, 2012

Swamp Witch - Gnosis

If this is what a Swamp Witch actually sounded like, that bitch would be feared. Children would cry out in abject horror at the thought of her creeping through their windows. She'd crush all in her path. No creeping, she would stomp a path over villagers, drooling and foaming at the maw. She'd spit bile and disease. Crush your bones to dust with her bare hands. This is Swamp Witch. You have been warned.

I have to admit, I'm starting to get fed up with all the droning, meandering, unimaginative sludge I keep hearing. You're not a fucking jam band so please stop acting like you are, folks. Swamp Witch bring the goddamn sludge. They don't lull you to sleep, they inspire you to get up and kill. Or at least fuck up your walls. They manage to add creative elements, while maintaining a straightforward death motion. Swamp Witch is as violent and destructive as Eyehategod and Burning Witch, as groovy and memorable as Grief and they get high occasionally like Electric Wizard. Yet they maintain a very distinctive sound, unlike any of the aforementioned groups. 

The three songs making up the A-Side all pummel. Novem starts with an almost Arabic guitar riff, and already i'm banging my head. It then launches into vicious, snarling vocals. The riff circles back around and buzzes like mad. The almost d-beat drums and bass maintain the steady background you need for the necessary swing.
Emerald Serpent then emerges with another sick riff that sticks to your brain like acid candy. Annihilating all senses. Its an uncomfortable, lurching hellscape, and I love it. 
Gnosis closes the A-side. Swamp Witch start with seething distortion and a nice riff fading in and out with an ominous tone. The vocals flatten. If Emerald Serpent was a hellscape, you've just descended at least a couple levels. Its monolithic, subterranean and almost black metal in its delivery. Bravo. 
The B-Side is genius. Like the Endless Blockade's mixing and mashing of songs at the end of the Red List. Only more sludgy. It has some elements that Magrudergrind has played with (hip hop flavor). Its the remix of side-A, and its been chopped and skewed, but retains the crush.  

Gnosis is, overall, another fantastic demo by an up-and-coming band. The album is available free from the band, and the vinyl for the record is coming very soon. Its heavy as fuck and you need it. So buy it, and fear the wrath of the Swamp Witch.

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