Friday, March 15, 2013

Concert Review - WITCH MOUNTAIN

Continuing my cleansing of some backlogged material...

Witch Mountain
Friday, October 19, 2012
Turf Club, St. Paul, MN

Click on any of the pictures to see more photos of Witch Mountain (35).

Soon after Septicflesh finished at Station 4, I rushed over to the Turf Club to catch what I could of cult doom metal band Witch Mountain. I missed tourmates Castle and locals Bisento, but Witch Mountain had just hit the stage playing “The Ballad Of Lanky Rae” as I entered the sparsely-filled club. “Beekeeper” was crushing, and vocalist Uta Plotkin quickly proved that she’s a powerhouse on stage, capable of singing over the thick, molten guitars of Rob Wrong. Rob himself is a monster on guitar as his solo to open “Shelter” demonstrated that fretwork speed isn’t required for skillful solos. The band then played “Bloodhound”, a St. Vitus-like plodder from their latest self-titled EP. Returning to Cauldron Of The Wild, “Veil Of The Forgotten” was ripped through before “Wing Of The Lord” from the South Of Salem album was introduced as the last song. This scant 40 minute set wasn’t enough, and the band was called back to the stage for a 10 minute version of “Never Know”, a lazy blues-based dirge that finally explodes mid-song.

Witch Mountain stands apart from the current crop of doom bands with their sludgy embrace of the blues roots of rock music. Their albums take some patience, but live their songs are given a sense of urgency that commands attention. Despite the shortness of the show, Witch Mountain proved themselves as a formidable live act.

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