Burning Witch
Crippled Lucifer


4.0
excellent

Review

by theartofdoom USER (4 Reviews)
September 26th, 2009 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Though certainly not for everyone, Crippled Lucifer is a crushing voyage into darkness. A slow, repetitive, horrible darkness. Yes, that's a compliment.

Heavier than a block of uranium, denser than osmium and about as fast as a ***ing snail, ladies and gentleman, it’s Burning Witch! Formed from the ashes of the criminally overlooked band Thorr’s Hammer, Burning Witch is a band dedicated exclusively to the primal art of playing slow and playing heavy, and of the seven “psalms” in this 1998 release not one of them breaks these guidelines. However, the album is a brilliant affair, full of despair, agony, sorrow, and of course, DOOM! Though it can sound slightly unfocused at times, and is definitely a hard pill to sallow for non-doomsters, Crippled Lucifer grows on you after a few spins, planting its seed of darkness and misery into your soul and bringing you just a little closer to manic depression.

The album comes out all guns blazing, even if they are blazing at 30 beats per minute. “Warning Sings” opens the record with immense power, with its droning riffs, harrowing vocals and incredibly crushing riffs setting the template for what is to be expected from the rest of the album. The music is very simple, at times startlingly so, yet it is this very simplicity which makes it so striking, riffs are repeated infinite number of times until they are drilled into your bloodstream, while vocalist Edgy 59 (contender for worst stage name in metal) lays his combination of chants and shrieks on top of it all, like icing on cake. Though his lyrics are often incomprehensible, one could argue that this is for the better, getting to hear lines such as “Sabotaging my feelings/ Pseudo Seppuku” (Sacred Predictions) and “I won’t give way/ Adventure overdoes/ I won’t give it to you” (Warning Signs) may actually subtract from the destructive musical experience of the album.

Though the album is in comparatively over the top in its embrace of traditional doom clichés and the exaggeration of these, one of its biggest victories comes in the ones it chooses to ignore. Perhaps the most important of these is the time honored tradition for doom albums to have ***ty production. Crippled Lucifer, though still raw, vibrant and drenched in feedback, sounds absolutely awesome, and though purists may frown upon this statement it is only so for the better, the album is all the heavier and more crushing for it. With every instrument in its proper place in the mix and every note clearly coming through the speakers, the riffs become ten times as powerful as they would be in a traditionally crappy sounding record. However with three of the tracks recorded by none other than Steve Albini (Big Black anyone?) it should be no surprise that the album sounds as good as it does.

As much as I can praise this band for their masterful and hypnotic droning tendencies, riffs stretch out for as long as 8 minutes apiece, this is also the album’s weakest point. Some tracks succeed greatly in their task, looping riffs for eternities without sounding stale, rather trance-like, especially the longest ones, such as “Stillborn” and “Sea Hag”. Though the shorter tracks are still great, it feels compared with these other gems that they sometimes don’t have enough time to develop, sounding slightly unfocused. However this is easily overcome, as most of the droning usually leads to something, as in the case of the excellent climax of “History of Hell” which is probably the album’s best moment. Besides, slight variations in fills and drumming patterns keep things interesting for the attentive listener, and as these details become more apparent with every listen, the album grows on you with every single spin, and like fine wine, gets better with time.

Listeners looking for any songwriting value, any commercial tendencies, or anything remotely related to conventional music can look somewhere else, preferably somewhere very, very far away. Crippled Lucifer offers a painful and agonizing journey of droning rhythms and hate filled music which will probably only appeal to those who have already ventured into the fields of extreme music, be it noise, drone/ambient or metal, yet these listeners will be able to appreciate its powerful, relentless charm.


user ratings (56)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
theartofdoom
September 27th 2009


254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't proofread, probably full of mistakes and whatnot.

TricksterGRex
September 27th 2009


2087 Comments


not a huge fan of this band but props for reviewing a Southern Lord band

FistfulOfSteel
September 27th 2009


897 Comments


nice review, althought im not huge into doom. keep 'em coming though bro, good stuff.

rasputin
September 27th 2009


14968 Comments


thorr's hammer is the best thing about this band. they're all right but i'm not a huge fan.

The_Oath
September 27th 2009


24 Comments


I love this band a lot.

EasternLight
September 27th 2009


2710 Comments


sounds scary.

EasternLight
September 27th 2009


2710 Comments


neo scoffs

ThyCrossAwaits
October 28th 2009


3457 Comments


is anybody else aware that this band has both main members of Sunn O))) in it?

Digging: Liturgy - H.A.Q.Q.

AcidCaravan
December 11th 2013


463 Comments


Pure fucking torture...a masochistic masterpiece

PunchforPunch
December 11th 2013


7085 Comments


damn guess i have to check this mofo

methal
December 19th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the review. When I listen to them I get the impression that they are artists who have found their expression through Doom. What I appreciate most is the vocals. Unlike other metal vocals it sounds like a very credible and sincere lament of an emotionally damaged outcast, which in itself can be a very elaborate move when the Sunn O))) guys are ivolved??? Anyway, it is outstanding. The downside to this is that you feel sincerely bad by listening to them

eatdirtfartdust12
June 25th 2015


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

EW borrowed a couple of things from these boys for Dopethrone

Dinosaur
September 2nd 2016


1365 Comments


This is cool.

Dinosaur
February 15th 2017


1365 Comments


Bump for doom jams.

evilford
March 28th 2017


42110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is fucking amazing

Deathconscious
March 29th 2017


23256 Comments


love those vocals.

evilford
March 29th 2017


42110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first half was best



still, great album

Deathconscious
March 29th 2017


23256 Comments


I have the EPs. It bugs me when production changes halfway through an album. Plus they make it a little easier to digest. Still have to listen to Tower.

Dinosaur
May 10th 2017


1365 Comments


this is perfectly in sync with my hangover.

Spacesh1p
August 28th 2017


7717 Comments


This rules.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy