SpaceWith just two tracks making up this album, and the only vocals being the apocalyptic sample of mankind’s destruction that opens the proceedings, Space Witch have really set a challenge for their listeners in this eponymous debut album.  I’m not known for backing down readily, so challenge accepted sirs!  So what do you get for your money from this Stoke-On-Trent based noise collective?  What you don’t get is a radio friendly selection of songs ripe for commercial airplay, unless there is some alternative universe where the likes of One Direction never step out from behind the counters of the corporate burger bars that are truly their destiny and real music fills the airwaves.  Ah, what a thought.  Indeed, by playing ‘Space Witch’ you might well open a portal to another reality, but far from travelling to such a utopian land, ‘Worship The Void’ is far more likely to tear a rip in the fabric of space and time to a dimension populated by H.P. Lovecraft’s dark creations.  Filled with menace the track howls from the speakers like the war cry of a squamous beast released from an aeon’s old captivity to wreak havoc on the mind; bass and drums batter the senses whilst hypnotic guitar riffs interweave with the sort of dark electronic squeals Hawkwind would make if they took the brown acid!  This track would be perfect for the soundtrack of the oft promised ‘Mountains of Madness’ movie, although not if the film gets the PG 13 rating that internet rumour attributes to it.

Track two is ‘The Alchemy Paradox’ and if there was any hope for a relief from the darkness, it is not to be found here.  Whilst the initial beat is harder and faster, but imbued with the sort of dirty sludge beloved of Conan fans, the track instead continues the journey into the darkly psychedelic, Space Witch building up layers of effects over grindingly heavy riffs, the band weaving all together to create their own a dark sonic landscape, the band being more than happy and capable of extended exploration of their instruments.  In contrast to the excellent recent ‘Arch Stanton’ from Karma To Burn, where the riffs were tied up in tight three to four minute packages, ‘The Alchemy Paradox’ meanders through thirty five minutes of drone and fuzz, complete with sort of distorted guitars that Jus Osborn has made his own in the past.

The band has some live shows announced, and I can only imagine them played against a background of oil lamp projections and a screen show of Hieronymus Bosch paintings.  Buy this album, and try not to have nightmares, because that is how “They” get in, through your dreams!

(8/10 Spenny)