Review : SWAMP WITCH – "Gnosis"

Swamp Witch Gnosis EP
Release date:  2011Aug12
Label: Gay Scientist Recordings
Rating: 4/5

Swamp Witch emerges from the murky depths of Oakland, CA with Gnosis. Also available on cassette tape (way cool!), the beast was unleashed via Gay Scientist Recordings, run by former members of hardcore-sludge group Negative Standards. Upon first listen, my imagination conjured colonial Massachusetts and myself as a member of  the infamous Salem witch hunt.

In my hunt for the suspected swamp witch, I end up at the door of a rickety cabin with the word “Novem” scrawled on its’ door.  Beyond the door,  I hear heavy, sludgy doom, reminiscent of bands as diverse as Electric Wizard and Down.  A crack of the door reviews a group of nine women, all huddled around a simple pot.  Before I could turn back,  an “Emerald Serpent” emerged, followed by a plodding, blues-tinged blast of doom perfection. I realized that there was no way that I was going to compete against nine witches and a serpent.

Defeated, I renounced my role as a Calvinist minister and dedicated myself to the worship of  “Gnosis“. My world expanded and a beautiful, haunting noise came out of nowhere, drenched in smokey riffs, plodding drums and powerful vocals. My mind drifted off for nearly nine peaceful minutes, before a commanding male voice interrupted with screams of agony.  Jarred back to reality, I will journey for Swamp Witch in the future, and expect a full exploration to be even more revealing.

Try: 1, 3

01. Novem
02. Emerald Serpent
03. Gnosis

~Brad Barratt


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