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Review: Witchrot - Live in the Hammer
Live in the Hammer

Label: Fuzzed and Buzzed Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 52:56
Tracks: 6
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: February 28, 2023
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (5 Votes)

I love when something comes out of nowhere and is just fucking great. I probably would have skipped this, as live albums are so hit-or-miss with me, but I ended up with the promo and decided to spin it and shit, this is the kind of groovy occult Doom that I like. Witchrot are a Canadian band with one full-length out that I never heard, and while this is a live album, it's obviously live-in-the-studio, as there is no crowd noise or anything like that. So instead of crowd sounds, crap recording, and inane between-song banter, we just get the sound of a weird band going absolutely feral.

The opener is an 18-minute medley that turns three separate songs into one insane acid trip with cool riffs, arcane songwriting, and the unhinged vocals of frontwoman Lea Alyssandra Reto wailing like a pagan priestess on an oracular mushroom journey. There are broad similarities to bands like Jex Thoth and Blood Ceremony, but Witchrot are heavier, and also successfully evoke a kind of gleeful, malign chaos that makes them sound even more underground than Doom already is. The album is solid, with every track being more than worth the ride, and the whole thing just oozes atmosphere from every note. I have a known weakness for female-fronted occult Doom, so your mileage may vary, but I think Witchrot are really on to something.

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