Date: 22nd February 2019
Review and photos by: Ryan Whitwell / Shotison.com
Dead Witches were celebrating the release of their latest album, The Final Exorcism, which I have been looking forward to hearing for a few months now. With them were three other bands on the Heavy Psych Sounds roster: Black Rainbows, Giöbia and Deadsmoke.
Deadsmoke were first on the stage and the Italian doom sludge band were very much on form.
Smoke was most certainly the theme for these guys. Not just in their name, but also visually as the smoke machine continued to pump out more and more of the stuff. By the end of the set the singer/guitarist had been completely shrouded and the bright green light behind him meant he was completely obscured.
Thankfully, seeing the band didn’t really matter as sound was brilliant at The Borderline tonight. Plenty of low down fuzz and tonnes of bass, which was exactly what I wanted from tonight and Deadsmoke were a great start to the evening.
The second band tonight that would be representing Italian stoner style goodness were Giöbia.
A fantastic example of extended space rock psych with flowing grooves and some great accents from the synths. It was some top quality psychedelic stuff, with great beats and basslines that were really fun to get into and, at times, I didn’t really want to come out of. I could listen to their stuff all day and not get tired of it!
There were a few cool moments featuring guitarist/vocalist Bazu playing a lute, synth player Saffo stepping out to take up lead vocals, and finishing the set with two members leaving the stage to let the bassist Detrji and drummer Betta continuing a very fine speedy bass riff for a few extra minutes.
Black Rainbows would be the third and final Italian stoner style band tonight, and they were a big hit with the crowd. “One more song” was chanted at the end of the set is evidence of that!
It was a cracking set that seemed to fly by. Big riffs were met with a fair few banging heads (my own included) with bassist Guglielmino also getting in on the hair flying action! It was an infectious set list.
‘The Prophet’ was on the list, and judging by the response is a bit of a fan favourite. It was easy to hear why as it was the super fuzzy and punchy opener of their Hawkdope album with a tasty extended guitar solo from Gabriele Fiori in there for good measure.
A great line-up so far, and the Borderline crowd seemed to be really looking forward to the fourth and final band tonight.
Some slightly lower tempo, occult-laden doom came from headliners Dead Witches. Playing mostly their new album (with a couple of older tracks in the setlist), it would be my first time hearing most of the songs. I had already heard “Fear the Priest”, as the band released that as one of the sneak previews of the album, The Final Exorcism.
There was a short instrumental section from Oliver Hill on guitar, Mark Greening on drums, and Carl Geary on bass before singer Soozi Chameleone graced the stage to get into the title track of the new album.
As with all the bands tonight, the sound was great. Plenty of bass and distortion on the guitar and bass, with a bit of an effect on the vocals. Nothing was overdone though, as there was just enough to give the occult doom vibe but not distract from the musical talent on stage.
I am a bit of a sucker for a well worked guitar solo, and Dead Witches’ provided a fair few of those that got a few heads nodding in the crowd (including my own). It was a great set overall, and the album itself has been getting a lot of praise as well. It’s always good to have a band that can deliver on stage as well as on recordings, so I am very much looking forward to following Dead Witches from now on.
Dead Witches Setlist:
The Final Exorcism
Goddess of the Night
World of Darkness
Church by the Sea
Fear the Priest