Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts – Ruins Of Faith (2015) – Without question, Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts are the most true to form doom metal release on this label and rightfully so. Powerful female fronted doom with an imperfect touch that suits the raw essence of the experience, this definitely captures the true spirit of doom metal music. Sometimes they just like to throw it into atmosphere, but that’s all part of the observance. All part of the experience. And don’t give me that shit about “females not being able to play doom” because she absolutely kills her lines, almost giving me a SubRosa vibe. I’m definitely sold by the hypnosis offered on this one, bringing a memorable and almost occultic vibe to my ears. If something was supposed to have been summoned from this recording, than it was. Somewhere in the universe. I’m almost sure of it.
IWKC – Hladikarna (2017) – An ridiculously odd mixture of music, IWKC play a type of tribal influenced synth rock with a stoner influence. Sometimes this even amounts in some very catchy chorus numbers and other times it becomes straight fucking Gothic death/doom. Yes, you heard me right. IWKC do not seem to know or care what boundaries are and I’m more than happy to hear that. Who would’ve thought that I would hear a memorable death/doom performance on a trippy, proggy synth rock album? This label is blowing my mind wide-open folks, this is what independent thking and distribution was made for. This is art without boundaries.
The Grand Astoria – Deathmarch EP (2013) – The Grand Astoria play a brand of stoner rock with slight effects, more or less. Though it’s also quite catchy and you’re gonna dig the melodies. Something really needs to be said for the guitar work here, which is not only well-produced but flows perfectly along with the atmosphere that these guys are trying to make. I might not be the biggest fan of the vocals, but they’ll definitely grow on us. You also have to love the King Crimson influence that they’re putting into practice here as well. “Aelita, Queen of Mars” is highly noteworthy in that area. Prog fans, you’re going to love these mesmerizing structures, so definitely give The Grand Astoria a shot. Why don’t people know about these guys? Oh, that’s right. It’s my job to tell them!
The Grand Astoria/Montenegro Split EP (2014) – Don’t take “The Body Limits” for granted, because it fits just fine with the material offered on the Deathmarch EP and this full-length experience (it might just be comprised of two parts, but this disc is nearly an hour long between both acts) more or less cements the greatness of The Grand Astoria in my mind. I wasn’t expecting much when I was first handed some of these discs, but I love when my expectations are shattered like a funhouse mirror after it has been hit with a sledgehammer. The calm sounds of nature soon become a fiery stoner doom cut, which escapes into heavily prog territory. The vocals still aren’t my cup of tea, but I can sense the emotion within them. He’s really putting everything that he has into this and they’re definitely flowing properly with the harmonies on the record. There are even some nice sections in which one can headbang, just before an enlightening moment of contemplation.
If that’s not enough for you, then the incredibly over-the-top experimentalism featured from Montenegro is worth it’s weight in gold. I’m telling you, we’ve got to give these guys a chance. That’s just plain good music, I don’t care who you are. The Grim Tower highly recommends both jams by The Grand Astoria and Montenegro.