I’ve been told I can review this release despite my not liking it, as long as I deconstruct it in the right way. So here goes…
Do Acid Witch have compromising photographs of the label bosses at Hell’s Headbanger Records squirreled away in a secure place? I can only assume so because I can see no other way that such a well respected and prolific label as HHR would release this. Maybe it comes down to a matter of loyalty. Detroit based Psychedelic Death/Doom miscreants Acid Witch have after all been signed to HHR since the very beginning of their career, when they unleashed a very cool sounding debut album entitled ‘Witchtanic Hellucinations’.
Their fourth studio offering though leaves me cold to the band on various levels. First and foremost, ‘Rot Among Us’ is almost a parody of the bands previous work. I am aware that Acid Witch’s back catalogue is laced with tongue in cheek moments; however the carnival-esque nature of this new opus takes things to a whole new extreme, especially when it comes to the vocal histrionics which are at times utterly cringe worthy. Another gripe I have is the riffs. On previous releases Acid Witch have evoked monstrous riffs that are drenched in reverb and veritably dripping with groove. I just don’t hear that on this new album and if I’m honest it feels like the band have gotten… lazy may be the wrong word for such a prolific band, so I’ll plump for complacent.
So thus far my gears are being ground by a parody like nature that in my opinion moves Acid Witch away from their usual Death/Doom territory and more into the realms of absurdity that only Lordi and GWAR can lay claim too, and a complacency around the guitar work that at its worst feels like Korn trying to venture into Doom Metal.
On to my final and most overriding point about this album then; which is that when you strip away the 70’s horror atmospherics, the clowning around and the circus like antics, you are left with a very basic sounding album that lacks heart, soul and charisma. I’ve been a fan of Acid Witch and their previous work, but this latest offering is a bland, uninspired gift wrapped up tightly in loud wrapping paper and tinsel to hide the blandness held within.