Acid Witch - Evil Sound Screamers [Hells Headbangers - 2017]Digitally released on Halloween (with physical copies set to drop next year), Hell's Headbangers brings the sounds of the season with the third album from Acid Witch, Evil Sound Screamers. Mixing layers of synth with metal mayhem and a dash of goofballery, Acid Witch's third album may not be for everybody. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there is a lot of solid music on Evil Sound Screamers, and it definitely warrants a few spins on the table.
Opening with a Halloween safety intro, Evil Sound Screamers gets the ball rolling with the mission statement, "this album is going to be fun. Enjoy this slice of metal for the Halloween season." With high pitched vocals straight off of a Macabre album, "Mr. Beistle" tells the tale behind one of the greatest forces behind America's obsession with Halloween, Martin Luther Beistle. A tad on the hokey side, the vocals and synths are a fair distraction, but as its all in fun, one shouldn't let it become a worry. Moving into more comfortable, dark, almost stoner rock, "I Hate Halloween" shows Acid Witch working in which they excel. Metal riffing, solid pacing, and a head banging beat is the driving force for their seasonal offering. This moves nicely into the synthy highlighted death and roll number, "Cheap Gore." Shifting a bit on the next number, Acid Witch heads back to the psych-stoner realm with the slower, heavy "Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf)." Low vocals add a creep value that is almost counteracted by lighthearted "dwarf" vocals and laughter. The witch driven interlude that follows introduces the heavy rocker, "Mutilation Mansion." The rock continues, but gets lighter in tone on "Hardrock Halloween." The vocals don't fit the tune on this, and it feels fairly misplaced and jaunty on the album. "Nightmares In A Damaged Brain" works as another, fairly synthy interlude before heading to the closer, "An Evil Sound Screaming." A fairly cinematic rocker, the closer is the highlight of the album. Bringing Acid Witch closer to Slasher Dave's solo project, the six minute track shows Acid Witch in all their glory.
Halloween is a pretty goofy holiday that a lot of people take very seriously. Heavy metal is a pretty goofy genre that a lot of people take very seriously. Put the two together, and you have quite the outlet for some fun. Acid Witch's Evil Sound Screamers definitely focuses on fun, yet grim, metal. It's a tad on the uneven side, but overall, definitely worth a few spins this (now passed) Halloween season.Paul Casey