Before Sunn0))), Teeth of the Lions Rule The Devine and Goatsnake, there was Burning Witch (well technically there was Thorr’s Hammer before even BW but that’s another story), a sludge doom outfit from Seattle that shared talents that would go on to form the aforementioned legends, incorporating sludgy slow bass lines and drums that basically would act as a precursor to Sunn0)))’s sonic drone evolution.
This combined with the harridan voice of Edgy 59 is why you should be excited about the deluxe and re-mastered edition of Burning Witch’s Crippled Lucifer release.
Opening with ‘Sacred Predictions’, Burning Witch waste no time in highlighting their talent, with a doom sound mixed with stoner guitar work and harsh and hoarse vocals it’s easy to see how the group were considered one of the quintessential metal acts at the time.
‘Country Doctor’ shows eardrums no quarter either, with a slow and thunderous marching drum beat taking precedent while Edgy 59’s witch like voice shrieks throughout, finding its Magnus opus in the latter track, ‘Sea Hag’ a fourteen minute epic slice of doom metal with all the trimmings, including a long intro of howling wind and droning bass guitar. A dark tranquillity that is assaulted without warning by the admirable vocals mentioned before.
With a first CD that’s giant in proportion and volume, you’d be forgiven to turn the offer of the second CD down. Forgiven, but also missing out (and a wimp!) as more classic Burning Witch appears, including ‘Stillborn’, a morbid slow paced dirge that will rumble out of your sound system like a waking demon while ‘History of Hell (Crippled Lucifer)’, one of the shortest tracks on both albums at six minutes, still packs the same steady doom metal punch as its predecessors.
While the band were short lived, this Burning With re-release just goes to show how powerful an act they were, and just why the world of metal and beyond was and indeed still is so exited on hearing of solo projects from Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley.