Purple Hill Witch – ‘Celestial Cemetery’ (The Church Within Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Thursday, 07 December 2017 04:00

Purple Hill Witch artworkApparently, the debut album from this Norwegian trio saw them ploughing stoner rock route: I wouldn’t know, as (in common with the majority of the hundreds of albums we get submitted every week) it passed me by, so I’ll just have to take the word of the PR machine for granted. However, if that was indeed the case, then this follow-up sees them take a complete change in direction, as it is very much rooted in the trippy doom-meets-psychedelia mood of the Seventies which has made such a dramatic comeback of late.

 

With Kristian doing his damnedest Ozzy impression on lead vocals and his best to emulate Iommi on his dense riffs, there is inevitably a very early Sabbath feel, especially on the likes of ‘Around The Universe’ and ‘The First Encounter’, which could be ripped straight from the ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ era songbook. The feel is accentuated by the taut rhythms of Andreas and Øyvind, who have that warmth that Butler and Ward managed to produce. Other classic doom acts such as St Vitus re referenced in the alchemy which PHW seek to generate.

 

The overall feel of the album’s retrospection is accentuated by the production, which is suitably murky and analogue in its feel – none of the cleanliness of this modern digital nonsense – yet manages to draw out the vibrancy of the individual and collective performances.

 

There’s nothing here that is startlingly original or groundbreaking – nor is there intended to be. What it does offer is a warm familiarity with its contents: yes, you feel you’ve heard it before, but there are enough little inflections and affectionate nods to keep you interested. Certainly, in the course of writing this review, I listened to ‘Celestial Cemetery’ back to back twice, and I didn’t get bored, which is probably half the battle as far as its creators are concerned.

 

‘Celestial Cemetery’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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