Witchfinder, Endless Garden (Mrs Red Sound 2022)

Hazy stoner doom band Witchfinder cast out their new EP into the world, Endless Garden.

Just a few years ago in France, Witchfinder began creating music with hallmarks of doom, sludge, and heavy psych. Leaning toward the stoner end of the room, they released two full-length albums, a self-titled one in 2017 followed by Hazy Rites in 2019. There is a new long-player on the horizon, and meanwhile they offer Endless Garden. Witchfinder is Clément Mostefai (vocals and bass), Stanislas Franczak (guitar), Thomas Dupuy (drums), and Kevyn Raecke (keys).

There are two long tracks on the new EP beginning with “Eternal Sunset.” Any song that runs nearly eleven minutes will have some change-ups, or an arc, or both. Here we have a quiet opening, reflective music establishing space to expand into. Guitars and keys arrive in due course. There are moments that seem like self-contain songs themselves, and other, longer stretches that feel like a movie soundtrack. The vocals are spacey, almost cavernous at times, adding depth and mystery. The hallmarks of riff-driven stoner rock never stray too far from focus.

“The Maze” starts with a wandering bass, paired with a guitar that looks in a different direction. The mood here is darker than on the first song, instilling trepidation in the listener. The vocals offer what seems like a warning, or at least a sinister tale to put you on your guard. Decisive plodding appears, and is like a marching force on a mission; they will not be swayed. There is a sudden, violent shift at the end, an abrupt black metal moment that signals the conclusion of the conflict.

The band has planned a full-length album for later in the year. These two songs will hold us over until then. It is also a rewarding enterprise to listen to Witchfinder’s earlier albums in the interim. Recommended.

Mrs Red Sound will release Endless Garden on Friday, June 3rd. Bandcamp is a good stop when you are looking for this music.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://witchfinder.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/witchfinderdoom

Mrs Red Sound Records, http://mrsredsound.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Witchfinder, Endless Garden (Mrs Red Sound 2022)

Little Jimi, The Cantos (Mrs Red Sound 2021)

French psychedelic trio releases their sophomore album, The Cantos.

The band – Benjamin Monnereau (guitar, vocals), Guillaume Arancibia (guitar), and Antoine Le Gall (drums) – began in 2017, issuing their first recordings. A full-length album followed the next year, and now there is The Cantos. The music is rock, and to me it sounds heavy and inspired by stoner, progressive, and heavy psych bands. The early rock influences stretching back into the 1960s and 1970s are in there functioning as the bedrock to the band’s sound. Another way to think of it is that these elemental characteristics are the launching point for the music Little Jimi creates.

There are six longish tracks on the new album. “First Cantos” starts it all off, and it has an acoustic intro and an ethereal vocal bed that takes us into space in the first half, after which things turn heavier. The extended, fuzzy instrumental movement progresses into light doom before becoming buoyant in the final moments. “The Way” also opens gently, and it has more of a 1960s psychedelic feel. “Palace Afternoon” is a trip, a fuzzed out, dark Pink Floydian affair. It is a stunning, memorable piece.

Side two starts big on guitars, and even without a bass the heavy rhythm line is prominent at the beginning and the end on “Machetehew.” “Indian Rain” is the proggiest track while the closer, “Last Cantos XXIV,” has an uplifting feel to it. This music has a heaviness that I like but the compositions are transformed in concert with many other elements that act more like a conflux than a balancing. I am glad I listened. Recommended.

The digital album is out on Friday August 20th with the LP version to follow on September 17th through Mrs Red Sound and both versions can be had at Bandcamp.

Band photo by Christian Arnaud.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://littlejimi.bandcamp.com/album/the-cantos

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/LittleJimi.music/

Mrs Red Sound, https://mrsredsound.com/

Little Jimi, The Cantos (Mrs Red Sound 2021)