By Matt Hinch. I can't recall just how I got turned on to Closet Witch but I have a thing with Witch/Wizard bands so I had to check out the Iowa band's split with Euth. Now usually said Witch/Wizard bands fall on the stoner/doom end of the spectrum but not so with these bands.By Matt Hinch.
I can't recall just how I got turned on to Closet Witch but I have a thing with Witch/Wizard bands so I had to check out the Iowa band's split with Euth. Now usually said Witch/Wizard bands fall on the stoner/doom end of the spectrum but not so with these bands. This split is high intensity grindcore. And while both bands will tear you a new orifice, Closet Witch spoke to me more, buried themselves in my brain, and made me do strange things.
Closet Witch has three tracks on offer here. Opener “Funeral Regrets” leads with an opera/orchestral intro that is no preparation for the violence that explodes at the :23 mark. Vocalist Mollie Piatetsky wastes no time stripping flesh from bone with her uber-pissed screams. But this is no monochromatic all-out assault. Varying tempos send the listener spiralling in recoil one moment and the next launches them into the pit ready to wreck any chumps that that happen to get in the way. You'll even get some eye-of-the-storm melody/quietude that's shattered by the next track.
Which happens to be the nihilistic and relentless “Civil Necessity”. It's neck-snapping and raw (guitarist Alex Crist records all their work in a basement). The band ploughs through you like a tank juiced on nitrous firing percussive salvos at will courtesy of drummer Royce Kurth leaving nothing unaffected. All the while Mollie makes the listener feel small, as if cowering from the destructive wrath.
“Nehkbet” keeps the momentum going, at times even cranking the intensity up another notch. With some almost black metal (non-tremolo) riffing dropping into a killer mosh part, Cory Peak's bass breaks through. Smart “mixing” (their quotation marks, not mine) and small touches let you know these cats aren't just pure rage. Their aim is clear: sonic annihilation on a budget. Mission accomplished. Now to see if their campaign of carnage feels the same on their previous split, demo and pair of EPs (all since 2014!).
Wyoming's Euth are a noisier, more dissonant bunch. James Reed's screech is just as eviscerating as his vocal counterpart but some death growls get mixed in as well on “Violent Reprieve”. On the whole they're beefier than CW and get into some real nasty complication and noisiness while tossing some killer sludge riffs into the chaos. It's enough to induce a certain amount of panic and fear for your sanity.
“Blind Rotters” closes out the split ricocheting off every conceivable surface as it tumbles through a vortex of screams. Guitarist Nate Fitzgerald, bassist Niko Kolis and drummer Adam Croft even venture into some avante-black territory before finishing off with some gut punch riffing that sort of reminds me of now-defunct I Hate Sally.
This split will leave you broken and exhausted (if you're doing it right) but addicted and ready for more. Two bands twisting grind to their own purposes and leaving it all on the floor. Can't beat that!