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Boomkat Product Review:
Hold aloft thy BC Rich Warlocks: it's the return of Burning Witch, Stephen O'Malley's other, other band (i.e. neither SunnO))) nor Khanate). The band actually broke up in the late nineties, before founding members O'Malley and Greg Anderson went on to form SunnO))), but before that time they managed to record the Towers and Rift Canyon albums, both of which were included on the original issue of Crippled Lucifer, plus out of print material (namely the tracks 'Communion' and 'The Bleeder' from a Hydra Head-released split CD with Goatsnake, plus Randall Dunn's remix of 'Rift Canyon Dreams'). You can hear the roots of the Southern Lord sound in these recordings, reaching back into classic British metal influences from Sabbath and Venom through to more recent doom and death metal sounds. More importantly though, Burning Witch's sound is something that anticipates the dominant aesthetics in contemporary underground metal. While the first disc here - the Towers set - focuses on more traditional, aggressive doom sounds, Rift Canyon Dreams is more in line with the low frequency drone elements of SunnO)))'s output, particularly during certain passages of 'Stillborn' and 'Communion'. Setting the music aside, the artwork and booklet imagery are vintage Southern Lord: a presentation worthy of this double-disc grimoire.