Satanic Witch. 4.44 9/10
Back in the old days when record shops weren’t shrouded in neon, you would venture downstairs into a darkened musty basement past the walls plastered in flyers and peruse the racks looking for gold. You would find an album from a band you have never heard of, yet you are drawn to it inexplicably, from its cover or idea or … something. You take it home and play it in the evening when the atmosphere is best, and it would blow you away. Completely and utterly 4.44 by Satanic Witch is such an album.
4.44 conjures images of musicians making pacts over candles, their mystery only adding to the allure and romanticism. The uninhibited freedom and the deft hand in which they create their music surprise you and make you wonder why you have never heard of them before. In Satanic Witches cases 4.44 is their debut album and it is a combination of sixties, and seventies experimentalism, combined with black metal, post flourishes and beautiful melodies that is rich textured and organic.
It is dark and authentically so; it is the lack of pretension that makes the covenant between artist and listener intimate and expressive. Each track is a lengthy naturally occurring exploration of the ritual. From the duality of the incredible ‘’Mirage/Die Hexen’’, to the blasting black metal indulgence that is ‘’For None’’. The riffs are majestic, free flowing and incredibly heavy, yet it is also full of haunting darkness. ‘’So below’ is the hypnotic nightmare created from the simplest of melodies and the whispered vocals. The beautifully sung melodies are the tautology to the darkness, each creation unique and a testament to the creators Shaun Van Calster (Length of Time), Michel Kirby (Wolvennest), Isa and Selina (E-L-R), that Satanic Witch is such a pleasure whilst being shrouded in secrecy and spiritual connections. It is the expression of music and its true power that makes 4.44 a complete experience with moments of greatness.
Elusive inexplicable and alluring 4.44 is a staggering release that combines elegance and darkness to create a musical journey that is genuinely exciting. Combining the greatness of modern with seventies inspired freedom and originality, 4.44 is a masterwork.
Demons Of Noon – Death Machine 9/10
rom their beginnings in 2017 in Auckland New Zealand, Demons of Noon have finally presented their debut full-length album on the unsuspecting. Death Machine is not just a debut but a fully realized creation, that is vibrant and buzzes with its own energy and raw power.
Echolia is the epic opener, Featuring the fuzz-infused psychedelia that touches on the classics but is also incredibly relevant. The Power of ‘’Coward’’ burns with a fury that is visceral and immediate. To simply call this stoner doom or sludge is a mistake and a misunderstanding, Demons of Noon Create music that is unhurried in its ability to just simply smash you with its rhythms and excellent riffing, all six members share vocals duties that help create a vibe that is unique to each track, from chanting and wonderful harmonies to an at times hardcore approach yet Aria Jones and Tamsyn Matchett are the highlights with their vocals.
underpinned by Jonathan Burgess in a genre where the voice is often overlooked by the power of the riff. ‘’Sphere of Peace’’ is another intense offering, whilst the subtle melody of ‘’Torched and Burned’’ elevates it into a beguiling moment that is as addictive as that mind-mangling riff all in Drop C. ‘’Demons of Shade’’ reflects the power of demons, all delivered authentically and enthusiastically.
Death Machine is the result of something fresh and undeniably heavy, there is a presence on this record that evokes the smoke of the past and the anger of the present, from beautiful harmonies to the sheer power of the diminished fifth and its darkness. It is an absolute beast of an album and a celebration of truly heavy music. Great things await the Demons of Noon.
Nighteyes – The Way Back Down 9/10
The solo project of Kiwi-born Melbourne (AUS) based artist Rachel Trainor, the new release ‘’ The Way Back Down’’ is described as a journey through our collective unconscious, through realms unknown, the darkness and the light. The stunning debut album teased by several singles is a statement that transcends the simple boundaries and notions of Alternative, folk, and rock.
Using melodies and beautiful uninhibited vocals along with touches of fuzz and dark rock ‘’ The Way Back Down’’ is as uplifting as it is haunting. ‘’Spiral “although the album is closer is a swirling journey based around a repetitive melody that builds into a crescendo that is restrained yet subtlety powerful. It is the conclusion of a journey where darkness has made way to light, the mountain ascended and the view glorious. ’’Third Eye ‘’ on the first listen is fragile yet delves deeper and a hidden strength imbues the creation, the vocals poignant stirring and evocative. The autobiographical ‘’ My Only One’’ with its skilful rhythm sections drives the building anxiety, reflected in the vocals, the clean guitar the perfect accompaniment to the building apprehension of multiple vocal lines. The acoustic elements are a fingerprint on each song, its consciousness and pain giving it voice through some incredibly personal declarations.
The Way Back Down is able to perfectly balance electronica, strings, psychedelia and folk all held together by the clean guitar and the beautiful articulated words. ‘’Lowlight ‘’ is a statement of internal struggle, the electronic percussion an ominous counterpoint to the uncertainty within. An Album that is able to convey moods and emotions evocatively and with ease, each song is a chapter in a book that begs to be read and re-read, listened and enjoyed at all levels. The colours and rays of light that piece the darkest of personal struggles is as beautiful as the turmoil contained within. ‘’ The Way Back Down’’ is a revelation.