Friday 15 July 2016


The Goat, an inauspicious animal that has, for reasons never fully explained, found a place in many of the worlds myths and legends. In some religions it is seen as a "clean" animal acceptable for eating as well as sacrifice to GOD but mostly the goat is seen as a satanic talisman, a symbol of dark rituals and occult worship. It is no surprise then that this humble animal and its pagan symbolism has been adopted by those dwelling in the darker recesses of the underground music scene. especially those working within the metal, doom and stoner genres. Goats appear regularly in these genres on album artwork, in song titles and most often as band names. Goat Bong, Goatsnake, Goatess and Spacegoat are just four examples of bands utilising the hooved mammals imagery as there collective title but there are many, many more. Less often though, the word goat, is used as part of an albums title as is the case with Arizona doomsters Stone Witch's debut EP "Order Of The Goat".


Stone Witch hail from Phoenix and are; Jayare Robbins - Vocals, Guitar, Matt Wentz - Guitar, Jason Colbert - Percussion and Ian Colbert - Bass, four guys who know their way around a good riff and first track "Wind Walker" kicks off "Order Of The Goat" with a beauty. Beginning with the two guitarists trading off against each other on a deeply fuzzed out lick the song then slowly moves into an equally fuzzed out riff. Not quite heavy metal, not quite doom and not quite classic rock yet having an essence of all three with a touch of bluesy swagger thrown in, the groove Stone Witch create is big, bold and swinging.
"Dark Goddess" opens with Robbins voice, not overly powerful but distinctive with a slight croaky hoarseness, singing unaccompanied with the gaps between verses filled with an explosive blast of rhythm and riff. The groove has an early metal feel that recalls the heady days of  Sir Lord Baltimore and the more heavier moments of May Blitz albeit wit a slightly doomier vibe. The song takes a slight detour in its last quarter with the dynamic shifting to a doomy lament before ending in dark fuzzed sustain.
"Blood Feast" begins with Wentz laying down a slightly dissonant and distorted guitar motif that is slowly joined by the rest of the band in a mid tempo, slow burning, bluesy, lo-fi doom groove that sees Wentz locking in with Robbins on the riffs before unleashing a killer solo at the midway mark. The two Colberts meanwhile lay down a solid foundation of drum and bass, the two locking together like two pieces of a matching jigsaw. As with the previous track the dynamic once again shifts mid track this time  moving into a Sabbath like driving groove reminisent of the Birmingham fours Master of Reality period.before segueing back into the main riff and taking things to a close.
"Oathbreaker" is next up, an atmospheric doom/occult workout with just a hint of the blues at its centre. Robbins vocal, with the help of a little backing , sits perfectly on top of a dark rolling main riff expertly held together by Ian Colbert's booming bass  and Jason Colbert's crashing drums. Soundbytes add a little extra atmosphere to proceedings but it is that addictively delicious riff that will stay with the listener long after the track finishes.
"Herald" ties things up with a groove laden mix of gritty stoner metal and  dusty desert/stoner wrapped around a molten metallic core that boasts a great Robbins vocal  , hard driving rhythmic thunder from the Colbert engine room and sees Wentz ripping a stunning array of sounds from his fretboard. Fuzzed, furious and absolutely essential listening for fans of both dusty desert rock and downtuned gnarly doom it closes "Order Of The Goat" in a whirlwind of riffage and rhythm, leaving the listener desperate for more.
Check it out......

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