Old Witch start us off with their half of the split. Their take on Doom is dirty, nasty and filled with malevolent hatred.
Taking the template as laid down by Khanate, Old Witch proceed to bury this in the soil for a thousand years before digging it up and slowly flaying it alive.
The slow, thoughtful assault of their earthy-sounding Doom combines at once an unforced naturalism and a feeling of urban decay and darkness. The minimalistic Khanate-style approach is enhanced with eerie melodies and textured nihilism that has shades of Funeral Doom.
At any rate, this is my first encounter with Old Witch and they have turned out to be an extremely gratify proposition. Their name held a lot of promise as it pretty much evoked images right from the off that gave me high expectations of their sound. I have not been disappointed.
After the grim majesty of Old Witch, many bands would be found wanting. Thankfully, Keeper are not just any old band. Unlike Old Witch I’m already a firm fan of Keeper’s crushing Doom from their recent split with Sea Bastard and their EP The Space Between Your Teeth.
Keeper are heavier than Old Witch and sound like an avalanche of Sludge Metal descending from a great height to destroy anything it lands on.
The acerbic vocals always provide a wonderfully acidic focal point that the guitars seem to congregate around as if feeding off them.
Maybe it’s keeping company with Old Witch, but Keeper sound blacker and darker on this release. The shining, contemplative Post-Metal side of their style is still present and correct, but even this sounds more villainous than usual.
These two songs are just as impressive as I’ve come to expect from Keeper and the entire split, almost an hour of Doom, is a fantastic release that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Definitely one to get.