Saturday, 16 January 2016

Sea Witch - The Blackened Sea (2015) / 76%

Canadian doom tape triptych part 1 : Dartmouth, NS

I haven't heard the first two demos of this Nova Scotian duo but from I understand, they were sludgier or more rooted in black metal than this debut full length. Totally instrumental, this six songs tape (or digital) record bears its name extremely well, you'll drown in their deep shadowy currents (as shown by the classic Doré painting chosen to illustrate their music) and wake up as a corpse on a cold dark beach.

It's a pretty lo-fi affair but there's the maximum quantity of emotions that a two piece can produce, it's moving, deep and really feels like an oceanic voyage on the Atlantic ocean. There's a lot of atmospheric tremolo guitar moments mixed with a vivid sludgey funeral doom sound recalling the early days of Germany's slow titan, Ahab. There's also some stoner moments demonstrated by a huge guitar tone like in “Tempest”. Their songs, like falling inside the Mariana trench, are quite long (especially side A with two fourteen minutes tracks) and the album doesn't feel like it's too long even if it does get a bit redundant. It also gets old after three or four spins, I was very impressed when I first heard it though but it's just not totally memorable yet. There's something that it's still lacking, perhaps it's the lack of vocals, perhaps it's something else that I have yet to identify. I really liked everything but I know they could deliver something even more epic.

Nevertheless, this is a strong debut album with a well developed and established “nautical doom” approach (as the band mentioned on their Facebook page) and it's highly recommended for fans of introspective doom with many twists and waves. I need to check out their latest split with American black metallers Ecferus now to see how they're progressing but I need some towels and a bowl of hot soup before.

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