This is Only the Beginning…
A triumvirate of vocalists doesn’t necessarily add meaningful effect to music if there’s no harmonizing to be had. But in the case of Witch Hunt’s newest album, This is Only the Beginning…, the overlap of three scream-growling voices (two girls, one guy) creates an underworldly flavor. There’s nothing soft about these feminine vocals, even at their quietest moments. Instead, their taunting tones evoke something Gollum-like and witchy slithering from the depths of the earth. It’s a creepy recording, with all the convulsing chords and brooding bass lines of a punk rock band gone to the dark side of black metal. “Sugarcoated, Yet it Festers Inside” is an example of savage riffs and churning drums whisked to-and-fro by muddy lurching. “Sick Game” unearths bright melodies and steady beats before promptly burying them in a metallic firestorm. And at an average of two minutes each, the songs are quick snippets of destructive sound. An ear for sonic anticipation is Witch Hunt’s secret weapon, and the stormy payoff is almost always satisfying. The only real offense is that these 24 tracks include a repetition of seven songs (demo versions), which seems like a fairly self-indulgent waste of space. (Erika Fredrickson)
Witch Hunt plays The Other Side with Subhumans Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 10 PM. $12/$14 under 21.