Artist: Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan
Title: The VVitch
Label: Ruidoteka Records/DHU Records
Release Date: 2 July 2021
Location: Sorocaba, Brazil
Digital Price: 4 USD
Length: 14min 36s
The VVitch is a brand-new EP from new Brazilian band Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan, originally released with assistance from Bruxa Verde Productions and picked up by Ruidoteka Records and DHU Records for physical releases. That includes an upcoming vinyl release with DHU Records, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, you’ve got a wonderfully grimy doom release here that has some brilliantly chunky guitar work.
Comprised of F. Klinger on vocals and bass, Nass on vocals and guitar, and E.L. on drums, this trio has created something that could almost pass for a hidden gem from an underground 1970s band. The VVitch is superbly produced – there is an oldschool sound to the recording, the feeling of old equipment and a lo-fi sensibility abounds. Going for this sort of sound is a risk that many artists take for aesthetic purposes. It often leads to recordings that simply sound like something a 12-year-old recorded with an old Game Boy Advance speech controller. In some genres, that is what they actually want, but it often leads to releases that accidentally sound muddy and indistinct.
The VVitch never suffers from that at any point. In fact, despite the retro sound, there is a surprising amount of depth to the audio here. An old friend of mine used to remark that a good recording from that era would “sound like they’re playing right in your living room” when listened to on a good sound system, and that is a quality that The VVitch really possesses. I can hear every smack of the drums, every individual vibration of distorted guitar strings, and that’s important because all four tracks on this EP are a good listen.
Total Madness is a good example of what makes The VVitch such a good release. It has that simplicity that we love about 1970s heavy metal, but that doom metal sensibility kicks in and means the song never feels simple because of the depth created through atmosphere. There’s a demented vibe about this song, with incredibly crunchy riffs contrasting with occasional Hitchcockian screeches from Nass’s guitar. This sort of psychological atmosphere builds into the dark Mistress of Black Heart, which comes with an extended, nearly two-minute instrumental intro. These two tracks in particular complement each other, creating at the heart of this EP a sense of foreboding that grounds the EP in the occult doom vibe that the band wants to evoke.
Elsewhere, we have a fantastic sample at the beginning of The VVitch that is reminiscent of those old horror movie samples that are a staple of oldschool Rob Zombie tracks. It is the first thing we hear on the album, and it is appropriately placed because the music that follows feels like simultaneously a warning and an invitation to the listener. Mixed in there is a great little solo towards the end of the track, the only one on the EP, a welcome addition that really completes the sound and helps set the tone. This track is complemented by the final track Witching Hour.
With ominous guitars and bells tolling throughout this two-minute track, it feels like The VVitch has built up to this moment. That inviting yet threatening first track culminates in the arrival of something big. That something is either the titular VVitch, or it is a prelude to the band’s possible future release of an album. Either way, there is a bright future for Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan. If you love oldschool metal or that stoner/doom sound, make sure you check this one.
I hope you enjoy The VVitch.
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