Witchfinder – Hazy Rites

You may not believe when I say this the year of Doom Metal bands. I assure you I lost track of how many bands I’ve reviewed since the beginning of the year. Now with us Witchfinder with “Hazy Rites.” It’s no secret that Doom Metal has its roots on Black Sabbath to be more specific, we all agree to that. Well, Witchfinder have deep roots on Black Sabbath’s features as it may be seen by tracks as “Ouija” and “Satan’s Haze” which are strong rooted on the very first Sabbath’s efforts. There is also a small dash of 1990s bands as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. That’s no wonder because those bands also drank profusely on Sabbath’s waters. It’s all there: strong guitar chorded riffing, phantasmagoric vocals, long tracks in an average of about seven or eight minutes range, slow cadenced and shoegazed drumming. Pretty much everything it’s expected from a Doom band. From where I’m standing, “Hazy Rites” pleases the fans just because of this. It’s no surprise. One can buy the album, play it on the player with no surprise. That’s a pro, we all agree, because surprises may surprise too much, if you know what I mean. Our dollars are so scarce that we have to plan how to spend them wisely.

I have to admit that Doom bands don’t mess with success. Their formula is very established and down rooted with lots of grief and pain expressed on the low cadenced notes. “Sorry,” for instance strikes with a shrieking voice that makes everyone shrives. A cold chill goes down your spine when you hear the phantasmagoric voice with the thundering drums. Basically, that’s the appreciated and desired effect. On the other hand, it’s fantastic to see how loyal Doom bands are with their features. I guess there is no other Metal subgenre more monolithic than Doom. The one who thinks it’s Black Metal is flat wrong. That ship has sailed a long time ago and Black metal bands are the avant garde of Extreme Metal. Doom, on the other hand, is kind of living in the past, a monster that refuses to change. I’ve got to tell you that they have my admiration. In those days of so few and liquid loyalty, Witchfinder with “Hazy Rites” declare their passion and love for the music they play. Such an incredible thing for our plastic times of plastic and vapid music. In such way, Witchfinder are tasteful with their rigid standards and loyal passion show in tracks with a beautiful keyboard appearance as “Dans l’Instant.” A decision of courage and of a very good taste too. Keyboards are a perfect match to songs as “Dans l’Instant” to help improve the dark and cold atmosphere.

The enigmatic and mysterious woman dressed as a witch in the cover art is also a highlight to “Hazy Rites.” It can’t get better. The near out of tune guitar solo in “Satan’s Haze” is also a highlight. I particularly like when the guitar sound a little bit out of tune. It works fine in songs like that creating a chaotic atmosphere. We all know that Metal is the chaos itself. I couldn’t help it saying a few words about “Sexual Intercourse” and its uncanny tittle to the thing that is better than Metal. Seriously, the tone of the bass in it is pretty peculiar because it is so low that it sounds like it’s blowing the speakers.

Witchfinder “Hazy Rites” was released on April 01st via Black Bow Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Ouija
  2. Satan’s Haze
  3. Covendoom
  4. Sexual Intercourse
  5. Wild Trippin’
  6. Sorry
  7. Dans l’Instant

Watch “Ouija” official video here: