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Witchskull - Coven’s Will

Label: Rise Above Records
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9/10


Witchskull. Which skull? Witchskull. The Aussie trio’s 2018 album, “Coven’s Will,” could safely come with a satisfaction guarantee. This is Stoner Doom Metal to quicken the pulse and pump your fists. The tempos are played at 78, not 33; they crackle with living, vibrant energy.

 

While the song structures are kept pretty straightforward, the riffs are curated with a discerning and refined ear. Some bands in this genre (especially this genre) sound like they just jammed and smoked in the basement until something coalesced around a basic power chord sequence. Witchskull, on the other hand, appear to have sifted through hundreds of riffs to choose only the finest - - and the final selections used are primarily medium-rare, single-note, Sabbathy things. Vocalist/Guitarist Marcus De Pasquale then puts on his (metaphorical) welding mask and blowtorch and refines the vocal melodies and sears the final pieces into something rough and irresistible. The rhythm section of Joel Green and Tony McMahon can’t be overlooked. . . they bring the groove hard. Head nods are a certainty.
“Coven’s Will” is a rarity: an album where every song is playlistable. Interestingly, the closest this set comes to filler is the final track, “The Empty Well,” which does adhere for its first half to the Doom genre’s mud-spinning standard pace. It’s a decent enough tune, but this band shines best when they push the groove and rock your spine. For examples of this, don’t miss “Raven,” “Priestess,” “Demon Cage,” and Spyres.” Dammit, I also like “Son of the Snake” too. And “Breathing Blue Light” (that outro is bloody brilliant) and “Lord of the Void.” Fuck, now I’ve listed every song on the album as a highlight track.
There’s something pure and honest about this record that recalls both eras of AC/DC (Bon and Brian). Zero posturing, zero compliance with trends past or present, just three middle-aged guys with the will and the skill to put forth solid, rollicking Stoner Metal with abandon. Dig this one.

 
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