Tuesday, February 06, 2007
BURNING WITCH - CRIPPLED LUCIFER (2000)
This one right here goes out to Bubba Johnson, of Overland Park, who likes that real happy-go-lucky rock y roll. Eventually we'll get his custom mix up on here for everyone to slash their wrists to. 'Til then, here's a return to the gloom and doom.
(Review by AMG's John Serba)
Oh, the agony: Purveyors of sickening, plodding doom metal will want to search out BURNING WITCH's Crippled Lucifer, a generally overlooked tar-coated shriek of pain completely in line with the Southern Lord label's modern-takes-on-BLACK SABBATH philosophies. Formed by THORR'S HAMMER guitarist Stephen O'Malley, BURNING WITCH is the logical musical step between said group and his subsequent projects, noise-drone belchers SUNN O))) and, especially, KHANATE, which is carved from the same block of impenetrable granite, so to speak. Crippled Lucifer compiles seven tracks from two separate recording sessions; the first three tracks were recorded in 1997, and the final four laid to tape in 1996 by none other than Steve Albini. Regardless, all of Crippled is from the same, torturous valley of despair: Painfully slow rhythms collide like tectonic plates with droning, feedback-encased guitar riffs and truly heinous screeching, recalling the swamp-doom of CROWBAR and EXHORDER mixed with some CATHEDRAL-style lunacy and a healthy dose of EYEHATEGOD's flaking eyeball crust. Oh, and heaping handfuls of expired Vicodin, no doubt. Regardless, this extraordinarily noisy, anti-melodic "art" is sure to clear the room. "Sea Hag" and "Stillborn", pushing 15 and 12 minutes respectively, sound like the soundtrack to depression, bringing to mind images of men trudging along bleary-eyed through a bleak existence of hard drugs, repetitive manual labor, and constant breathing of lung-coating industrial soot. Still, BURNING WITCH is so conceptually over the top, it must have been conceived and birthed with a sly wink. If not, you're better off tying a plastic bag over your head and just calling it quits. Crippled Lucifer is a minor classic of sorts, and definitely a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Doom fans will be riveted to their seats, and everyone else will extract more joy from having their heads wedged in a clogged toilet.
1. Warning Signs
3. History of Hell (Crippled Lucifer)
4. Sacred Predictions
5. Country Doctor
6. Tower Place
7. Sea Hag