Friday, January 22, 2016

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - 'Mother' from Salem's Wounds (2015)

This is an absolutely fascinating work which takes some time in getting acclimated to, to its themes, paces & unfoldings so as to let its spell fully occupy. Karyn Crisis is long-time metal vokillist from such places as Crisis and later Ephel Duath, and it is with Ephel Duath's Davide Tiso, to whom she is wedded, that Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches has come to pass. This album is basically like a nonfictional version of a King Diamond album with empathy, love, compassion and transcendence at its core rather than shuddery/fun horror tales. Recorded in an old Italian farm house where Karyn came into mediumistic contact with the spirit of a witch, Ariada, and once in contact drops serious occult gnosis on Karyn, the aforementioned Gospel Of The Witches. I think I have that correctly! If not, corrections are always welcome! The first song released from this album, 'Mother', is a good choice, as possibly the most overall representative, but also the one which introduces the approach and content most directly. That said, this is an album which rewards patience and needs to be listened to almost as one song in many movements. It is frequently beautiful and moving and sweepingly melodic, but it is not the most immediate. This initial 'holding-back' is critical to the overall feeling of this album as it slowly 'takes hold'. Here is another song, 'The Alchemist', which like much of Salem's Wounds, features Ross Dolan of Immolation on 'death chorus vokills'. A couple of tracks feature Mike Hill of Tombs. 'The Alchemist' leans into an almost tech-death contemplation. Like much of Salem's Wounds, trance and dream are the aim rather than a more energetic thrashing about, which is rad to me, because it helps to expand What Metal Can Do and What Metal Is For. The overall vibe of Salem's Wounds is kinda Dark New Age, while never being expressly ambient or psychedelic in attack, it ends up feeling that way, which is wondrous and endearing. Here is 'The Ascent', another officially-released video track. I get a hint here or there on Salem's Wounds of a Goblin/Argento influence, transposed into the stuffs of magickal workings by witches, for witches. 'The Ascent' video has some serious Mario Bava Black Sunday going down in it, for sure, but in the interests of coven initiation, rather than slaughter and revenge. Here is a fascinating video interview with Karyn about her Psychichal and Magickal Workings and interactions with Ariada and how this brought about Salem's Wounds.

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