By: Andrew Rawlinson
Witch Mountain | facebook | bandcamp |
Released on September 30, 2014 via Profound Lore Records
Fun Fact 1: Witch Mountain have been in existence since 1997.
Fun Fact 2: Witch Mountain lay a claim to be being the oldest/first doom metal band to emerge from Portland, Oregon.
Despite this their career only became relevant in an inspired moment in 2009 when they recruited the sublime vocal talents of Uta Plotkin and in 2010 released the album South Of Salem, which announced them on the world metal scene as the combination of the band’s crunching doom RIFFS and Uta’s powerful soulful vocals proving to be a winning formula.
Fast forward four years and we arrive at album number four Mobile Of Angels, which adheres to the adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, as opening track ‘Psycho Animundi’ kicks off proceedings in no nonsense fashion with a slow motion doom RIFF that grinds on relentlessly.
And grind on it does as Witch Mountain play to their strengths by using the music as an anchor for Uta to provide the flourish, melodies and atmospherics with her vocal magic, alternating between spoken word, clean singing, soulful croon and occasional piercing shrieks.
Although the ‘Mountain use doom as their framework, the album as a whole has a very relaxed chilled out vibe as songs occasionally deviate into low key melodic – almost folk – moments, however this lack of urgency and intensity also becomes a handicap due to the length of the songs (each of the five tracks clock in at 7 minutes on average), so that they often start to drift.
This is not enough to kill the album though, as there are plenty of entertaining passages to lose yourself in and occasional unexpected deviations (such as the burst of heavy growling and later high pitched squawks in ‘Can’t Settle’ or circus theatrics in ‘Mobile Of Angels’) to keep you engaged.
Fun Fact 3: The bands logo and album covers are brilliant.