With the exception of three bands (until now, that is) I’ve admittedly never been a huge fan of doom metal. Those bands happen to be Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and Winter.
I was going over some of the generous contribution by Sun and Moon Records and wanted to travel back in time a bit to 2014 for this album, Come Mourning Come by Old Witch.
Old Witch is a somewhat enigmatic two-member band with Stephen H. (all music, guitars) and Will Bustin (drums). Nevertheless, the enigmatic element allows for more focus on what really matters; the fact that this is a uniquely crushing fusion between doom and black metal. The vocals sound like Gollum from Lord of the Rings fell into a perpetual bath of acid.
Track 1, “Funeral Rain” begins with a guttural, pulse and keyboard backdrop then
finally into the slow, sludgy blackened doom that immediately defines this album.
Track 2, “This Land Has Been Cursed” starts off low frequency noise, followed by keyboard string sound, then Old Witch trademark doom.
Track 3, “God ov Wolves” begins as more of an atmospheric piece with treated guitars, whispery vocals, then into devastating doom of the highest quality.
Track 4, “Leaves Fall in Autumn” starts off with a somber, ambient keyboard portion, treated guitars and repeated sludgy guitar hits. Percussion only makes a minimal appearance toward the end. No vocals on this one.
Track 5, “The Frost and the Tyrant” begins with a death-rock like bass, then fuzzy guitar strikes. This is probably the best vocal example on the album
and almost reaches a more mid-paced tempo albeit interspersed with doom parts.
Track 6, In “Olde Spirits Haunt the Tickets” we see the only instance of clean but effectively and appropriately buried vocals. This might be the most haunting of the tracks and incorporates all of the elements we’ve seen earlier. At this point, we’re brought to the end of the album.
This music is filthy abrasive, atmospheric, crusty, sometimes noisy sludge. Let’s go ahead and call this blackened doom crust-core. Come Mourning Come is fantastic atmospheric release that just might have renewed my interest in doom metal. Moreover, it’s releases like this which prove that it makes sense to not simply focus on new releases, but also those that might be older and still well-worthy of note.
Come Mourning Come is still available via Sun and Moon’s website on a 4 panel digipak CD.