Burning Witch – Crippled Lucifer (Southern Lord) 2008

When Thor’s Hammer imploded in the mid-1990’s, the surviving members created Burning Witch one of the more influential black metal/doom bands of the 1990’s. Although Burning Witch only existed for a couple of years, the core of the band Stephen O’Malley and Greg Andersen, went on to form  the reigning bench mark of doom, Sunn O))). During their brief existence Burning Witch recorded two EPs with Steve Albini. Crippled Lucifer is a twin disc compilation of those EPs.

To be honest I was never a metal fan. I always found the genre over the top and a bit ridiculous. When ever I listen to a black metal record I always think that I get the joke until I realise that the band themselves are probably not trying to be funny. This is the  same reaction I get with Burning Witch. I mean this record is so heavy, the  riffs so crushing, the vocals so tortured that I can’t help but be amused. The thing is, if i find the whole thing so silly then why do I enjoy Crippled Lucifer so much? Part of the  reason is that sometimes I just want to hear over the top guitar work and demon vocals. Playing this record is a guilty pleasure and is particularly useful after a particularly grinding day at work. For those of you who are fans of Sun O))) yet haven’t managed to listen to this, I recommend that you remedy that situation immediately. Burning Witch certainly didn’t  embrace the  ambient minimlism that now  infiltrates Sunn O)))’s work but the bedrock of their sound has been used as a template for all of the doom bands that have followed. Recommended. 

Still Born Live

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