The ALBATWITCH were a mythical group of 4 foot tall ape–men that were hunted nearly to extinction in the early 1800s and lived in the hills and rivers of southeast Pennsylvania. It is from these stories that the band gets their name. Full color booklet includes credits and lyrics as well as lots of artwork and a vinyl sticker (while supplies last). Officially released September 2013, CD package seems to be made of recycled cardboard.
This band is unlike anything I have ever heard before. The two member band that is ALB(A)TWITCH successfully mix dark folk, black noise, and crusty black metal together to create a sonic mass few have heard before. Members come from other York PA bands such as STONE BREATH, LAYR, and CROW TONGUE, among others. The band take influence from the other projects they are in and produce something beyond easy description. Some songs are deeply rooted in a WITTR style of black metal, others are American folk based, while still others are harsh walls of machine made noise. Lyrics are very anarcho – punk in style although not musically, other subjects deal amongst the timelessness of astral reality. Apart from the metal based songs, the primary drums used are the dumbek and the Bodh ran, both of which are hand played drums. Other traditional instruments consist of banjo, celtic harp, lobow, and stick dulcimer, amidst new technology such as oscillators and a harmonium.
The CD opens with an acoustic chamber style tune, devolves into industrial machine noise & distortion, then progresses into non-conventional black metal. I say non – conventional because the vocals and guitar are drenched in reverb beyond clarity, industrial elements persist throughout, and the drums are slower than usual for the style. The entire album rotates amidst these styles for 60 + minutes, although the styles start to weld together by the last 3rd of this cd and become a sludgy mixture which is still great. By the time this album is over, it feels like the collapse of western civilization has commenced and we are naught but survivors in a strange new world. We have survived because we have the integrity required to live through the heat and the cold and the intelligence to stave off the predators for another night. All acoustic songs are performed to remind the listener that revolutionary music existed before electricity and modern technology, and will persist after the industrial collapse.
ALB(A)TWITCH is neither for the scene purist, nor the faint of heart. Aided by the lyrics, the songs make one think, and that is exactly what this band wants people to do. When listening to this album, one will be rewarded only if they bring an open mind.
Lost Grave: http://www.lostgravefound.blogspot.com
Dark Holler: http://www.darkhollerarts.com
Eleventh Key: http://www.eleventhkey.com