The first two Acid Witch albums are some of my favorite less-than-serious death metal that doesn’t come across as pure garbage. The lyrics and imagery aren’t pure joke metal or parody rather the band balance the clever and wryly subversive in homage to classic horror, Halloween, and the occult. ‘Evil Sound Screamers’ isn’t wildly different than the previous two records despite changes to vocals, production value and some slight genre modifications. Where ‘Stoned’ and ‘Witchtanic Hellucinations’ had big, loud production and memorable death/doom riffing this album plays around with the death/doom formula while taking cues from their 2015 ‘Midnight Movies’ EP that featured four covers from cult horror movie soundtracks. With this focus on kitsch instead of death metal the album has more of a novelty to it that only disappoints me because I loved what they’d done on ‘Stoned’ so much.
Where the band has always shined is in their use of clips from horror and occult movies as well as old PSAs. ‘Evil Sound Screamers’ uses these sort of clips brilliantly and they provide the sort of tongue-in-cheek personality that makes their music special. The only exception is “Nightmare in a Damaged Brain” which comes too late in the track order and reveals itself too slowly, doing no real service to the song. Otherwise the band haven’t really stepped up the rest of their sound, it does start to feel like they’ve run out of catchy Alice Cooper-assed heavy rock stompers to mold into their death metal aesthetics and atmosphere. The thrashing Carcass-like “Cheap Gore” is something new and interesting, though, and I like how they’ve still incorporated a fair amount of keyboard work into each track.
‘Evil Sound Screamers’ has grown on me over several listens and while I’d still say it’s no ‘Stoned’ Acid Witch still offer something entirely unique and fun to fans of extreme metal. I have to commend the band for working outside the box as much as possible and taking the time to piece together the samples and skits that accompany the heavy metal. I doubt any band could possibly fill this niche better.
|Released||October 31, 2017|
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