Sea Witch / Black Tremor
Both extremes of the Canadian landscape find a home on the split LP from Nova Scotia’s nautically themed Sea Witch, and bastard sons of the prairie Black Tremor.
Sea Witch churns the chum bucket slurry churns pretty hard. They are a two-piece out of Dartmouth, NS whose sound is dense and harrowing, yet full of little esoteric strains that lend their sound a thoughtful undercurrent. Their songs sprawl in all directions.
Surprising to me was the lack of folk metal elements I had expected, but these songs, “As The Crow Flies” (Parts I & II) combine murky instrumentation and clean production into something that stirs and riles a brackish feeling. There parts of these two songs, especially toward the end of the second that begs for a live performance.
From Saskatoon, a prairie town in the province of Saskatchewan, for your edification, Black Tremor’s two tracks are Parts I and II of “Hexus” a deep, grinding slices of dust covered doom metal. Part I opens with mournful strings, slowly building off that ethereal open into bass and a proper guitar churn.
For their part, Black Tremor’s folk tinged songs are more open, evocative production, full of bluesy riffs that feel like mid-night highway soundtracks. “Hexus Part I” has a strong cinematic pull. While listening to, I kept seeing a single car on the wide-open road with only a further downward slope on the curvature of the earth out front as a destination. It’s a brash, smart sound, one that I’ll be sure to look forward to more of in future releases.
And I’m willing to say the same for both of these bands. My only qualm with the release itself really isn’t one with music to speak of. I felt as though a split LP that offers a pair of two-part tracks was an ideal sequencing, making “Green Tide” by Sea Witch, a terrific song in its own right, perhaps my favorite musically, seem as though it was added on to balance out the run time. Both bands are absolutely fabulous and I’m eager to delve further, or perhaps see them live when they come south of the border.