Album Review – Witches Of Doom / Deadlights (2016)

The Italian coven of Doom and Gothic Metal returns in full force to put another electrifying Rock N’ Roll spell on you.

Rating4

WOD_DeadlightsAfter releasing their debut album Obey back in 2014, I knew it was just a matter of time until Italian Goth-Stoner-Doom Metal act Witches Of Doom returned with more of their mesmerizing Rock N’ Roll extravaganza. Two years have gone by since that amazing album, and here we have the Rome-based warlocks Danilo “Groova” Piludu on vocals, Federico “Fed” Venditti on the guitar, Jacopo Cartelli on bass, Graziano “Eric” Corrado on keyboards and Andrea “Budi” Budicin on drums offering all fans of old school dark music the likes of Type O Negative, Moonspell and The Cult their brand new album whimsically entitled Deadlights which, just like its predecessor, will put you to dance, drink and make love like there’s no tomorrow.

Although I’m not a professional musician, producer or anything similar to that, I must say the upward growth in the overall quality of the album in terms of its production and sound is one of those things that not only helped Witches Of Doom explore new horizons and add new elements to their music, but it also shows how professional those Italian metallers are and how much they are focused on what they do. Thus, due to the enhanced quality of their music and to the brand new songs added to their portfolio, I think the band is more than ready to reach new heights and start spreading their exciting music throughout the world by touring in places like the United States, Canada and South America, either by themselves or as one of the attractions of some music festivals held in those regions.

While we wait for their first world tour, let’s rock to the sound of the superb opening track in Deadlights, called Lizard Tongue, where after an alternative and electronic we are embraced by a modernized goth atmosphere and the band’s pure Rock N’ Roll attitude. These guys know how to bring that magic aura from the 80’s to our present days, with frontman Danilo being better than ever with his inebriate and dark vocals, perfectly declaiming the song’s catchy lyrics (“Daughter of a thousand sins / Angel praying for your last wish / The city crawls in the dead of night / A knife cuts deep flesh open wide / Trick or treat is the only law / Merchant on the killing floor / The city crawls in the dead of night / A knife cuts deep flesh open wide”). In Run with the Wolf, an eerie waltz mixed with symphonic elements in what’s probably their most obscure composition to date, keyboardist Andrea crafts the perfect doomed ambience, supported by the low-tuned bass lines by Jacopo; whereas in Deface (The Things That Made Me a Man), heavier and weirder than usual due to the rumbling bass by Jacopo and the always passionate guitar riffs and experimentations by the band’s mastermind Fed, the listener faces a solid blend of Gothic Rock with Alternative Rock and Metal.

WOD 2016Melancholy and sorrow flow from the beautiful Winter Coming, where Danilo once again provides an additional layer of emotion to the musicality with his vocal lines (not to mention the song’s sorrowful lyrics), followed by Homeless, another shot of wickedness provided by this talented band with the groovy bass lines by Jacopo and the progressive drumming by Andrea enhancing the song’s punch. In other words, this could become a radio hit anytime, anywhere. And get ready to be hypnotized by the Black Voodoo Girl, with its Gothic start getting heavier and darker until it becomes another one of the band’s “striptease” hymns. The keyboard passages by Graziano match perfectly with the heavy riffs by Fed and the somber vocals by Danilo, and you’ll surely have a good time singing its chorus along with the band.

In Mater Mortis, what begins as an epic chant quickly morphs into a futuristic tune, more specifically into an ode to the music from the 80’s with highlights to its awesome keyboards, and this instrumental voyage sets the tone for Gospel for War, a badass Gothic/Stoner Rock chant tailored for fans of Rock N’ Roll pub fights where Fed keeps blasting his excellent riffs while Andrea takes his drumming to a whole new and amazing level of intricacy. And last but not least, bringing elements from non-metal genres like Jazz and Blues to their sounding, the band offers us all the introspective and soulful I Don’t Want to Be a Star, showcasing smooth but fierce piano notes by Eric and strong performances by Danilo on vocals and by Fed with his fiery solos. If you love long and experimental songs with the energy and feeling of Rock N’ Roll, you might have found your new favorite song in rock music.

In summary, the music presented in Deadlights, which features a stunning artwork by Italian artist Carlo Muselli (who by the way is the big boss at Sliptrick Records) and is available on iTunes or on Amazon, has everything a true fan of heavy rock always looks for and more, and in order to know more about the Witches Of Doom, including their future plans and tour dates, don’t forget to go check their official Facebook page. This skilled coven of Doom and Gothic Metal is not among us to simply play some rock tunes, but in special to put an electrifying Rock N’ Roll spell on all of us, lovers of dark and rhythmic heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Lizard Tongue, Black Voodoo Girl and Gospel for War.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Sliptrick Records

Track listing
1. Lizard Tongue 4:13
2. Run with the Wolf 4:49
3. Deface (The Things That Made Me a Man) 5:45
4. Winter Coming 4:35
5. Homeless 5:32
6. Black Voodoo Girl 4:46
7. Mater Mortis 3:01
8. Gospel for War 4:35
9. I Don’t Want to Be a Star 6:59

Band members
Danilo “Groova” Piludu – vocals
Federico “Fed” Venditti – guitars
Jacopo Cartelli – bass
Graziano “Eric” Corrado – keyboards
Andrea “Budi” Budicin – drums

Album Review – Witches Of Doom / Obey (2014)

These Italian guys bring you some awesome Doom and Stoner Metal with a unique goth vibe. They’re the Witches of Doom, yeah!

Rating4

Witches-Of-Doom-ObeyThere were so many brilliant Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll bands from the 80’s and part of the 90’s with a strong goth vibe it’s hard to name just a few, like for example The Cult, Paradise Lost and Sisters of Mercy. However, very few bands playing that type of music were created (and survived) in the past decade or so, which unfortunately ended up dragging such a rich genre down to the underground of music. Let’s say that this little “problem” is almost over with the blessed birth of Italian Goth-Stoner-Doom Metal band Witches Of Doom and their outstanding debut album Obey, released a couple of months ago.

Although they’re not reinventing goth, doom or anything else, the way this Rome-based band blends all the elements from those music genres, also adding hints of 70’s Hard Rock and elements of more contemporary heavy music, is beyond amazing. In other words, you’ll be able to easily identify the influence of bands such as Moonspell and Depeche Mode in their music, but it’s far from being just a “cover” band. Witches Of Doom have their own musicality, a modern and personalized goth heavy rock that will please all fans of good occult music.

The Betrayal begins with a Breaking Bad-ish intro before turning into a thrilling mix of Doom Metal and Southern Rock, with highlights to the great vocal performance by Danilo “Groova” Piludu. The last part of the song sounds a lot like American Sludge Metal supergroup Down, especially its raw riffs and soulful solo. Following that excellent beginning, we have Witches of Doom, a much heavier version of that goth music from the 80’s played by Sisters of Mercy and an excellent “business card” from the band (“We are the Witches of Doom, yeah!”), and To the Bone, a song that could be played in any radio station in the world: it’s 100% catchy with a really cool atmosphere. Besides, it’s easy to see how much guitarist Federico “Fed” Venditti loves 80’s rock music based on his guitar lines.

The next track, Needless Needle, is another interesting song full of guitar effects the likes of Paradise Lost and a nice old-fashioned keyboard solo at the end, but its main strength is how the band supports the chorus with their instruments, making it exciting and unique; while the piano ballad Crown of Thorns focus on a more melancholic feeling, especially its lyrics, getting heavier halfway through it.

DSC_0683The second half of the album starts with the awesome distorted guitar and bass lines of Dance of the Dead Flies, which can be considered the first of the two songs that sound like a tribute to the one and only Type O Negative. It’s Doom and Stoner Metal to the maximum heaviness, with kudos to singer Groova for his badass performance on vocals one more time. The second and most Type O Negative-ish song of the album is entitled Rotten to the Core: this is one of those songs tailored to be played during a strip-tease at the most underground Rock N’ Roll strip club in the world, something like From Dusk Till Dawn (and I can even imagine Salma Hayek, or I should say Santanico Pandemonium, doing her sexy dance). In addition, once again the guitar solo enhances the overall energy of the song.

Last but not least, we have It’s My Heart (Where I Feel the Cold), a heavier and a lot better ballad than “Crown of Thorns” with nice piano notes by Graziano “Eric” Corrado and some really dark low riffs, giving it an intense goth vibe; and the title-track Obey, with its tribal intro, powerful keyboards, poetic lyrics (“I was waiting for you in the sky”), and a mesmerizing rhythm. It even has some interesting sitar notes to boost its delicious eerie atmosphere. And just for your information, this song doesn’t actually have 14 minutes: it ends at around minute 8 or 9, “returning” at minute 12 as some kind of “hidden track” that contains only some weird distorted noises.

In summary, Witches Of Doom’s Obey, available at their Big Cartel page, on iTunes and other different places, brings back to you directly from Italy that awesome 80’s goth sonority, offering you everything you loved so much in that era but without sounding obsolete at all. Quite the contrary, those guys are looking to the future of music, supported by their technique, their influences and, more important than that, a lot of feeling and passion for Rock N’ Roll.

Best moments of the album: The Betrayal, Dance of the Dead Flies and Rotten to the Core.

Worst moments of the album: Crown of Thorns.

Released in 2014 Sliptrick Records

Track listing
1. The Betrayal 3:49
2. Witches of Doom 3:54
3. To the Bone 3:49
4. Needless Needle 5:01
5. Crown of Thorns 5:25
6. Dance of the Dead Flies 5:06
7. Rotten to the Core 4:10
8. It’s My Heart (Where I Feel the Cold) 4:17
9. Obey 14:45

Band members
Danilo “Groova” Piludu – vocals
Federico “Fed” Venditti – guitar
Jacopo Cartelli – bass
Graziano “Eric” Corrado – keyboards
Andrea “Budi” Budicin – drums