“Evil Sound Screamers”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you’re the type of ghoul that threw pumpkins at mailboxes on All Hallow’s Eve or stayed up until your eyes fell out to watch horror movies on Halloween, Acid Witch is the band for you. They seem dedicated to being the ultimate heavy metal Halloween soundtrack. But they are a much different band now than when they started.

The early Acid Witch was sludgy death-doom to the core. On “Evil Sound Screamers”, some of that sound remains, but the band has morphed into something rather unique. Slasher Dave has added such a layer of creepy keyboard and synth to the metal underpinning that the band is now just as much eerie Halloween soundscape as metal. Honestly, the guitar sound is nowhere near as crushing as early Acid Witch. But there is a strange fascination to the sometimes childish/sometimes sinister (and often both at the same time) sounds here. Take “Mr. Beistle”, for instance…the synth riffs are almost like something from an old kiddy cartoon and the cackling old witch vocals are as campy as it gets. But there’s some strong metal riffing as well. The song is perfect for overgrown trick or treaters who are ready to pull a knife out if they don’t get their candy.

That sets the tone for the rest of the album…an absurd mixture of twisted movie and TV samples, layers of Halloween synth sounds and crunching metal. I think the samples are sometimes rather overdone and cut into the run time, but they are part and parcel of Acid Witch’s sound. Some of the other highlights here are “I Hate Halloween” and “Mutilation Mansion” but all the tunes have that same spirit.

Acid Witch have reached deeply into their bag of Halloween tricks and pulled out “Evil Sound Screamers”. There’s nothing quite like it out there…pleasant dreams!