Motor City horror metalists Acid Witch are back with the perfect Halloween album, Rot Among Us.
Stemming from the northlands of Detroit, Michigan, Acid Witch is a doom-ish metal band that vibes on horror themes. Making regular use of mysterious keyboard lines, the band has put together three previous full-length albums and a passionate string of splits and EPs. Their new album, Rot Among Us, has arrived just in time for the holiday. The Metal Archives lists the band members as Tim “Shagrat” Jenkins (vocals, bass), “Slasher” Dave Monastiere (vocals, keys), and Phil Warren (drums).
“Gather Each Witch” is the invocation that begins a horrifying trip into the dark netherworld of Acid Witch. Hissing chants and creeping keys are a strong signal of what follows. The title track has a hammering hook that is wickedly groovy. An eerie goblin voice drops in to narrate while the instruments lurk in the outskirts, rather like a song from The Nightmare Before Christmas. When the music surges it is a mini volcano. There is a great little lead guitar break that echoes the sound of the Alice Cooper tune “Cold Ethyl.” Following that, “The Sleeper” has a more traditional metal structure in vocal and rhythm with excellent rolling movements. It teeters and pounces in a very creepshow kind of way.
What you get overall on this record is many different looks at heavy horror-themed music. There is a recurring hideousness ideal that could be seen as a throughline but the songs themselves are quite different. “Psychedeathic Swampnosis,” for example, works the keys in ways you don’t hear on the other tracks, and “Evil Dad” is an up-tempo rumbler that gives you a good squeeze with a notably divergent sound. The essential weirdness is there in every song. The winning formula is that different bits and angles are highlighted through alternate means. “Gundella The Green Witch” is the final step and a pure delight. I love the honking cadence and the dooming weight of it all. The breakout thrash in the middle is inspiring, as is the long, sinister walk out. This album could get heavy spins during the altered states we sometimes find ourselves in. Recommended.
The digital version of Rot Among Us is available now through Hells Headbangers Records with the physicals to follow on Halloween.
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© Wayne Edwards