1968 – Ballads Of The Godless

At the very beginning of 2016, a doom-blues/stoner trio crawled from the wilds of Cheshire and into the ears of an unsuspecting audience. Amping the blues much further than most had dared, their debut EP presented a cornucopia of heavy riffs; their music a fuzzy love letter to metal’s founding fathers. Almost twelve months later, that EP remained almost unsurpassed, marking a place among the year’s finest metal achievements. A year on, the band signed with Black Bow Records – home to Bast and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – for a well received follow up.

2018’s ‘Ballads of The Godless’ – released through HeviSike Records is, well, heavy. Sometimes drainingly so. However, if you’ve already been acquainted with the 1968 sound, the album brings forth plenty of superb riffs; riffs which, when dressed in the band’s signature sludgy sound, have a timeless appeal. Timeless, of course, if you like Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Sloburn and Slomatics. As before, if you’re able to see through the heaviness, it also includes some fine, blues tinged sounds that – thanks to a very old-fashioned production style – are a welcome nod to a world of fuzzy analogue grooves in an all too digital age.

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WITCH MOUNTAIN – Witch Mountain

Witch Mountain’s 2014 release ‘Mobile of Angels’ was huge in almost every sense. It was an album that at first seemed impenetrable, but patience and an ear for doom riffs slowly revealed a dense but lovingly created paean to all things dark – an album that remains undiminished by the intervening years. It also came with an undertone of sadness: between the recording and release of the record, vocalist Uta Plotkin announced her intentions to leave the band…and in turn, left some pretty huge shoes to fill. Having only been a member for a year, bassist Charles Thomas also exited stage left, leaving a somewhat depleted outfit.

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