Review Summary: If you're someone who takes your music literally and completely serious, then fuck off.
A lot of people take music way too seriously. If the bands aren't 100% into what they're talking about then sometimes people will just write it off as completely useless. And to be honest, that's a shame. That's the case for people who hate this band, Acid Witch. They have tons of haters and truthfully I can't see where all the hatred comes from. The only thing the guys of Acid Witch want to do is have fun and play some metal, death/doom specifically, while they're doing it. Once again, if you're someone who takes music so seriously that you can't enjoy a little bit of good old fun, then make sure you navigate yourself away from this review, this album, and this band in general.
The one thing that makes Acid Witch such an interesting band is the whole Halloween theme they have going on. It started on their first album, Witchtanic Hellucinations
, and it continues here on Stoned
. All of the lyrical themes are about horror, witchcraft, and even some marijuana references thrown in for good measure. Musically the album is like you're on an acid trip. The psychedelic nature of the keyboards are very noticeable and prominent on pretty much every song on the album. That element makes this band stand out from other doom bands out there. Also, this album, and the band in general, is dirty as hell. By dirty I mean the production of the instruments is very gritty and almost sludge-like. The riffs are slow and crushing and there's even a solo from time-to-time, such as on Witchfynder Finder. The riffing here isn't too technical, but it's enough to get your head banging for the entire duration of the album, which is exactly what the band wants you to do. The drumming doesn't really stand out, but that doesn't mean it's bad by any means because it's actually quite good. Since it's doom metal, the drums are really just there to keep the album going along smoothly and that's exactly what they do here. Just simple and slow rhythms the whole time. Nothing special.
The death metal influence comes along in the vocal aspect. The vocalist brings forth a deep, guttural death growl, of course. Once again, nothing too special. However, one thing that is noticeable is the fact that you can decipher most of the lyrics that he is growling. He doesn't have a Chris Barnes type thing going on where you can't understand a damn thing that's coming out of his mouth. So what he lacks in variance, he makes up in the fact that you can actually hear what he's saying, which is a definite plus in this kind of music. As I mentioned earlier, the lyrics are all surrounding horror and Halloween themes so if you're into all that kind of stuff like I am, then this album is definitely something you'll want to get your hands on.
So really, this band deserves none of the hate that they get. As for the doom metal world, they're actually pretty original. They're not just a band that tries to play as slow as they can and crush your soul with their riffs. Although they do that too, Stoned
is so much more than just that. There's a great atmosphere here and the psychedelic nature of the keyboards and some of the riffs makes this band pretty unique. This album is perfect during the Halloween season and could be a soundtrack to any horror movie album or any time you're tripping hard on some psychedelic drugs. Either way, it rules.