Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Iron Witch / The Atrocity Exhibit split

Well, you know it's got to be special to reanimate Thee Claw. fresh off the presses, a joint (no pun intended) release from British underground heavyweights Iron Witch and The Atrocity Exhibit, released in conjunction with Dead Chemist Records and Witch Hunter Records.
Two slabs of prime British sludge.  So what do we have?

Unfortunately, I managed to miss Iron Witch on their recent jaunt around these isles with the godfathers of heavy, Crowbar, and it's a real shame because they have matured so much since the I reviewed their 2011 ep Single Malt, and considering they are local lads I am still yet to witness them live.
Their work rate is phenomenal and they have honed their craft whilst touring with some of the real heavy hitters out there, doing it properly by getting in the van and getting a sweat on in some real shitholes.
Their track on this split is a tortured riff beast, the unquestionable sheer emotion of the lyrics spat out by Chris over some tremendous, glacial riffing from Sam and Dan.  As ever, Will's powerful stick work locks in tightly with the almost third guitar sounding bass of Rick, propelling the whole thing forward at a Grief-like pace.  Iron Witch are the hardest working band in the country, who are carving out their own style and sound, and it's great to see their name falling into every day parlance amongst sludge fans.
The Atrocity Exhibit come from a more grind-oriented angle, attacking their side with a seething brutality that builds from a wall of feedback with the sound of a heart stopping sampled over the top, into an evil sounding riff, as if the two bands have got together first to have a heaviest riff competition.
The Northampton three-piece really strip their sound back on this, a really primitive sounding track that confines the listener thanks in no small part to the massive production on this track from Ian Boult.  When it starts to pick up pace, with some pounding drums from Danny Curtis, it's a pummeling that leads into a section with some punishing, stop-start dynamics. Ending with a bang after some sustained feedback, this is my first exposure to The Atrocity Exhibit and has got me wanting more.

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