Italian Metal band Witches Of Doom certainly have a difficult sound to pin down. The name suggests maybe an Electric Wizard style Doom, maybe a St. Vitus style, or at the very least an orange-amped fuzz-laden retro outfit, but Witches Of Doom are kind of unique – which is a good place to start any review, so now all I have to do is hope for the best and try to elaborate.
They are a varied blend of Stoner, Gothic, Doom and Groove Metal that I guess you could find Danzig or Babylon Whores nestling nearby. From the Stoner/Doom side they are slightly more left field and make me think of Fireball Ministry or Red Aim. From the Gothic (and crossing over with Doom) would be Lake Of Tears, with some Moonspell, Tiamat and Type O Negative thrown in, plus a bit of early Alice In Chains groove for good measure. But that’s only really part of the story.
Reluctant as I am to throw in even more band-type comparisons, I feel I have to, just to further emphasise the point. I mean, you have a track like ‘Queen Of Suburbia’, which has many of the above elements, but comes across like an amalgam of Angel Blake and D.A.D. Then you have the title track, which again incorporates a Danzig type vibe, but starts like early 70’s ZZ Top and explodes into Corrosion Of Conformity as if they were sporting dyed black hair and black eyeliner! But the thing is, I really enjoy albums like this – why make it easy for us? Much better to never be quite sure what’s coming next, even after two or three listens!
Comparisons aside, Witches Of Doom are basically a riff driven, groove-laden Metal band with attitude and swagger. The guitars are crunchy and powerful with some nicely placed keys for added enhancing effect. There’s plenty of vocal hooks delivered by the Southern-tinged, mainly mid-range vocals (dipping into low Gothic on occasion) and a solid rhythm section that keeps the songs driving forward – even though there is nothing too fast in pace, but neither nothing too slow and plodding. Witches Of Doom have found their sound – they do it really well, and “Funeral Radio” certainly has its moments, but I guess it might struggle to please all the types of fans it would appeal to just because it mixes the styles of Metal that it does. But this is a rewarding album with all sorts of nuances and interest if, like me, you are happy with a bit of genre-mashing.
(7.5/10 Andy Barker)