If you’ve worn out your copy of Dopethrone (Rise Above) and have still got a hankering for a dirty heap of occult-themed Sabbath worship, you could do a lot worse than UK Doom outfit Dead Witches.
Founded by Electric Wizard drummer Mark Greening (also Ramesses and With The Dead), The Final Exorcism is the band’s second effort after 2017 debut Ouija (both Heavy Psych Sounds). And although the lineup has changed somewhat – vocalist Virginia Monti has been replaced with Soozi Chameleone and Grave Lines guitarist Oliver ‘Irongiant’ Hill steps in after the sad passing of Greg Elk, — the bongwater-fuelled Doom template remains largely the same.
From the instant lumbering of the opening title track (after the unnecessary intro), it is clear that Dead Witches are doing their best to emulate the same lysergic feel of classic Electric Wizard. The gargantuan snail’s pace riffs, pained vocals, strong occult themes are all present and correct and makes for a satisfying concoction.
The format doesn’t stray much the tried and true blueprint; Larges helpings of fuzzy reverb, heavy swampy monolithic riffs, a strong mix of Black Sabbath and hazy atmosphere, usually clocking in closer to ten minutes.
‘Goddess Of The Night’ and ‘The Church By The Sea’ both have a swampy swagger about them, the dour and melancholy ‘Lay, Demon’ slows down the pace even more, while the album culminates with the monolithic wall of sound that is ‘Fear the Priest’.
‘When Do The Dead See The Sun’ is a more psychedelic Pop number with creepy undertones. At Just a minute and a half long, its surreal dreamy ambience is pretty at odds with everything else on offer but makes for an interesting break from the darkness.
Given that Electric Wizard have largely moved away from the dank sounds of their early days, you could do a lot worse than take a rip from Dead Witches bong as a replacement. Admittedly there’s not a whole lot of variety or experimentation on shoe, but you can’t argue with the quality. A solid slab of hazy Doom to accompany your nefarious night activities.
7 / 10