Since I last cavorted with these witches in their sacred grove, they have either added an old crone to their coven or retrained at Spell School as vocals are now a thing, and originally, I am sure Space Witch were an instrumental based (with the odd speech sample) space rocking psyche doom band. However, the vocals are not a central part of their mix as this launches, they still excel at electronic synth weirdness.
Opener “Cosomonid” has some smart snappy drumming by Daniel to take this through the rabbit hole in to the nether regions of Wonderland. The full-frontal keyboard electronic effects are displayed heavily here, although at times they do sound a little cheesy, but that’s just my take on it, but this is countered by the driving guitar of Darren who makes sure this gets over the line at the end.
“Astro Genocide” starts off with one of those bowel-loosening guitar riffs that first reared its head in the early days of grindcore, but this time it is to open up a space exploratory mission, where the instruments mix together like different oils on the top of still water. And here we see the first appearance of Peter’s vocals, barking like they are commands to Starship Space Witch as it hurtles on through this space exploration. Maybe Space Witch are the space child of Hawkwind who will continue the mission boldly going where no space cadet has gone before.
Peter’s vocal strains continue to be ever more present through “Hex” which I want to hear on a baking hot day whilst lying flat out in a field. My accompanying nod to their sonic pummelling is all I can manage on this summers day. Set closer “Battle Hag” is where it all comes together so succinctly. Power riffing to start, grand entrance of the drums followed by the electronica entourage. Lead guitars pick up the pace, and then, half way they drop it down a gear and kick back with a Saturnalian groove to take us to its eventual climax. This tune clocks in at 12 minutes, but I could imagine during a live set they go all Grateful Dead and take it to the outer limits of “Dark Star” territory.
Arcanum will be landing in the Spring of 2017 and is a fantastic piece of inner space exploration.