It's already been an incredible year for doom metal releases, with Pallbearer's haunting and abyssal debut, Sorrow and Extinction, and doom-noise duo Mares of Thrace's transformative journey The Pilgrimage. If 2012 is the year that metal crushes all to death, then bring on the bone vices, because Cauldron of the Wild belongs in the same category as these exquisite releases. It is technically Witch Mountain's third record, though it is their second following a seven-year hiatus and the addition of vocalist Uta Plotkin. Her voice is now the cornerstone of their sound, as clear and nimble as a birdsong or as rasping and harsh as the music demands, in perfect counterpoint to the dark, clotted tones of the sludgy, Southern-tinged guitars.
|Photo by Carmelo Española.|
From start to finish, Cauldron of the Wild is excellent. The record is measured and knows its strength, allowing the songs to build slowly, such as during "Shelter," which begins like far-off flashes of lightning and some fat, playful raindrops that gather into a foundation-shaking storm. There is also wildness to this record ― unexpected eruptions in the instrumentation and twists in the lyrics ― like how a wolf that has been fed may seem tame, until it rips out your throat.
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