Cauldron of the Wild

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Nom du groupe Witch Mountain
Nom de l'album Cauldron of the Wild
Type Album
Date de parution 12 Juin 2012
Style MusicalDoom Metal
Membres possèdant cet album8


1. The Ballad of Lanky Rae 05:47
2. Beekeeper 05:30
3. Shelter 07:26
4. Veil of the Forgotten 05:29
5. Aurelia 11:49
6. Never Know 09:22
Total playing time 45:23

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Chronique @ VesselsOfBlood

27 Octobre 2012

Boiling Doom Cauldron

Welcome to Witch Mountain, home of some of the boldest, heaviest, and potent doom metal to have ever slithered into the old-school metal scene. Founded back in 1997 and located in Portland, Oregon, which also harbors acts such as Agalloch and Aldebaran, this fairly seasoned quartet has really gotten its way around the murkiest corners of the doom metal realm. However, after they released their debut EP “Homegrown Doom” in 2000 and their debut full-length album “Come the Mountain” in 2001, the group was put on hold from 2003, but later made its return in 2005. Afterwards, 2011 saw the release of their second full-length record called “South of Salem,” which resulted in the band landing a record deal with the great Profound Lore Records, neighboring the band with other raw metal acts such as Dawnbringer, Morne, and SubRosa. Having come this far, these old-timers’ highly-leveled potential has been completely revealed in their third album “Cauldron in the Wild.” Here, Witch Mountain proves to their listeners that the short hiatus they underwent hasn’t weighed at all on their music, as well as delivering some powerful doom tunes.

Unlike the band’s older works, “Cauldron of the Wild” really brings out the heaviness with Witch Mountain’s doom metal march. Swampy and low-tuned guitars and sluggishly eruptive drumming are what set the basis for the band’s raw onslaught, and they are played out incredibly well in this album. However, one of the album’s greatest highlights is vocalist’s Uta Plotkin’s singing; she showcases a vocal range and sound that cannot be easily matched in this record. Her singing is raw, bold, volcanic, and powerful when it comes to the heavier side of “Cauldron of the Wild.” The second track “Beekeeper,” best displays what true boldness this band has to offer. It is slow but destructively raw in its attack. It sounds as sinister as it is heavy, and it burns like an iron furnace with its crushing instrumentals and mighty vocals. “Shelter” is also a highly notable track that lies in the heavier side of the record. It makes an explosive entrance with raw guitar licks before descending into a mellower yet equally gloomy track and back. The heaviness was always there with Witch Mountain, but until now, it was never fully unveiled in their preceding efforts. However, in “Cauldron of the Wild,” the band really has evolved in this regard, and their sluggish savagery has truly been unleashed.

On the other hand, however, “Cauldron of the Wild” does hold its mellower side. Nonetheless, it’s as gloomy and bluesy as the heavier corners of the cauldron. This music dwells ever so slowly through dark corridors and bluesy smoke, underlining the doom aspect of this record. Once again, Uta’s volcanic vocal range shines in this side of the coin as well; her voice proves to be diverse in accordance with the band’s music, reaching from the mighty vocals to the softer and jazzier range. The final song “Never Know” is definitely the centerpiece for the bluesy doom metal side that “Cauldron of the Wild” shows. It starts and treads through half of the song’s length with the slow-motion melody and gloominess before once again transitions gracefully into a heavier metal track. It demonstrates one of the things that made old-school doom metal so great; its ability to grasp the heavier and easier sides of metal while retaining the same dark and dim core. Along with the vocals, this formula therefore is rendered as another large highlight for this album; its diversity truly sticks to the band’s roots back from the older years. The diversity allows the tracks to be more easily different from one another, with its doomed energy binding them all together to retain cohesiveness, making “Cauldron of the Wild” truly powerful.

Cauldron of the Wild” is a superb, if not potent, doom metal record. The instrumentation is well-played out, the vocal range is just spectacular, the production is nice and raw, and the songs are greatly written-out and executed. Witch Mountain ties together murky and crushing doom metal tracks with bluesy and mellower tunes without struggle, and the end result is a very memorable metal release. The band really has evolved since their previous records in pretty much every single regard, from the vocals to the sound production to how well the tracks are written. It sticks true to the band’s old-school doom metal roots back in the 90’s while it reveals progression from their older releases, making “Cauldron of the Wild” an incredibly strong album. Those whose ears are aching with nostalgia from the earlier decades of metal will definitely take pleasure in listening to this. Anyone looking for some fiery yet gloomy doom metal also should really try this album out. Witch Mountain really has taken a very long step forward in their music, resulting in a memorable metal record representing great progression of an aged band. So come on in, everyone. The cauldron awaits, and the water is just fine.

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Barney9 - 06 Novembre 2012: I fully agree with this review. I am relatively new to the Doom scene, so I stumbled upon this album by accident. It is as good as the reviewer say's. South of Salem is a good listen also.
VesselsOfBlood - 09 Novembre 2012: Thank you! I'm glad you liked this album. Other doom metal bands you should try out include Candlemass, SubRosa, Ufomammut, Cough, and Indian.
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