When I first encountered the music of Swamp Witch (in the form of their death-ridden debut offering, Gnosis), I immediately had the feeling that I was standing before a very unique and overwhelmingly captivating entity. Upon first hearing Gnosis, I recall that the release made my mind wander, drift off and eventually fall off a cliff of my own delusions, straight into an abyss made of my own worst nightmares. The slimy, lurid and comatose riffs crafted by the band on that release created a hideous storm of circular and never-ending swirls of hatred, whirlpools that could envelop you in seconds and made you feel that you were literally being crept up upon, stalked and observed from far away by hostile and ill-intentioned eyes. Like the proverbial frog boiled to death….
Anyone familiar with this experiment should know what we are talking about. Drop a frog in boiling water and it will immediately try to jump out of the pot. Put a frog in cold water, and then slowly bring it to a boil, and you will be amazed of seeing the frog, not realize that it’s cooking to death, and it will just sit there in the water till it succumbs. Swamp Witch’s music makes you feel the same way. You sit down with it, but do not immediately realize how death-ridden and hostile this album is because its painfully slow pace first puts you into a weird stasis, hypnotizing you, so that the band can then eat you alive in your sleep, ripping away at your flesh while you lay there, unconscious and lost in their narcotic haze. This record literally creeps up on you, and traps you slowly and imperceptibly, and when you realize that its slimy and vile tentacles are already around your neck, it is too late, you’re fucked. You are held back into oblivion by the band’s music, and doomed to be gobbled in the tar pits of eternal suffering and pain. If possible, The Slithering Bog is even slower and corrosive than its amazing predecessor.
Something about these riffs is deathly in an alarming way. Death and decay linger and hover all around this filthy album like omens of plague, like premonitions of famine and starvation, and the mist of sonic slime and putrid static tension erected by the band in hammering out their filthy riffs is so thick and dense you can almost touch the scum pouring out of the speakers, and your surroundings feel bloated with rotting matter and the scent of death and decay fills the air. When vocalist James opens up his throat to vomit out is hated mantras, it sounds like an army of corpses is mocking you with spiteful and horrifying spells.
The drums are not far from the sound of thunder cracking over a marshland of hallucinating dread, and the guitars are bloated and sickening fists of feedback that pound the listener’s skull with an intensity and heaviness that is almost impossible to believe. Fans of bands like Conan, Electric Wizard, Windhand, Cough, Yob, Moss and the such should keep a close eye on this band, as their evolution and sonic trajectory seems to be aimed at exploring the most daunting and uncharted realms of modern doom in a way that could uncover unthinkable abysses in the genre. All praise the Witch, for she is mighty, evil and powerful like none other!