Hazy Rites (2020)
Sludge / Stoner / Doom
France provides diverse fascinating landscapes. In the beautiful scenery of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, shaped by vulcanos and sweet ponds, lies the city of Clermont-Ferrand. And from there, a band emerged via Mrs. Red Sound, that played with the likes of Red Fang, CoC, Dopethrone and Monolord.
Witchfinder was formed in 2016 and released their self-titled debut in 2017. Now they’ve forged another longplayer entitled “Hazy Rites”. A record that celebrates its idols, yet going its own ways. It starts typically doomy, wonderfully slowly, sluggish and clumsy with “Oujia”, getting faster and reminding of Conan and other creators of atmosphere. The potential live energy is already perceptible.
It goes on with an Iommi-riff and reverb, several voices and a voluminous overall sound in “Satan’s Haze”, exhilarating and paralyzing as Stoner is meant to be. “Covendoom” marks a melodic highlight, putting the voice in the perfect spotlight and slowing down everything in the end. The most trendy track is “Sexual Intercourse“, a linear stomping rock tune, yet varying and ending with a croaking singing.
“Wild Trippin’” conveys different feelings. It starts clumsy again with the bass, followed by the guitar, and maybe it is the times of COVID-19 that make it desolate but with a blazing sunlight through the fog, pretty but sad like “Eyes (Sleep It All Away)“. In “Sorry” it changes to a classic riff and screams like NŪR, a driving beat and nice guitar plus a great final.
The final of the whole record is “Dans l’instant”, the logical prosecution, starting with suppressed bass, spherical and effective in the middle part, to even bring in some organ sounds at the end before the fade out. A through and through winning piece of music, as beautiful and rough as the history of the landscape of its origin. And as the band already played at e.g. the Cafe Derwisch presented by Ultraviolence Records, we can hope that they’ll return soon.