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Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts : Ruins Of Faith (EP, Re-release)

Tantalisingly brief, but packed with intriguingly creepy retro/Stoner occult vibes, Mother Witch... really deliver with this EP.

Originally released in 2015, 'Ruins of Faith' is the second release from the exquisitely named Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts, following on from their eponymous 2014 debut. Recently given a new limited vinyl pressing (now sadly all sold out sorry, vinyl lovers), 'Ruins of Faith' is a tantalisingly brief EP made up of five Stoner Doom tracks laced with a liberal dose of psychedelia and creepy occult vibes. There is no shortage of female fronted bands within our genre that riff on the whole stoner/occult/psychedelic scene, but Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts are up there with the best and most interesting of them.

It begins with a smoky, lumbering instrumental track, 'Subterranean V', with shades of early '70s proto-Metal with some nice bluesy guitar licks and a driving riff loaded with distortion. It's a good, positive start to the album and sets the scene confidently for what's to follow, whilst also teasing us slightly as the listener is made to wait to hear the voice of lead singer, Maria Teplitskaya. Once 'Storm' kicks in in a blaze of distortion and feedback, followed by Maria's mournful, wailing voice, it's an immediate rush of energy. She infuses her vocals with a good balance of rawness and melancholy, with a slightly mystical air that works well with the occult lyrical themes of the band's music.

The title track, and centrepiece of the EP, 'Ruins of Faith', which constitutes almost a third of the running time of the release, is a suitably epic and impressive piece that alternates pounding riffs and strong vocals with more mellow interludes as the song takes twists and turns through a dark and enticing landscape. Such is the quality of the material on this latest release, which at 28 minutes is definitely more EP than album, it's surprising that a lengthier offering has not been forthcoming in the intervening period since it was unleashed back in 2015. But, other than one 2017 single, 'Ode to a Cold Heart' (which is another excellent track, incidentally), it has been all quiet on the release front, albeit the band have been active on the live music scene.

The EP's closing track, 'Two of Us', (no, it's not a Beatles cover) ramps up the malevolent occult feel, ending proceedings on a more aggressive note than much of the laid-back Stoner groove-infused material proceeding it. It is, however, possibly the weakest link on what is overall a very strong release. 'Ruins of Faith', and the 2017 single have certainly whetted my appetite to hear more from this intriguing Ukrainian outfit; let's hope there will be more to come in the not too distant future.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Subterranean V
2. Storm
3. Grace
4. Ruins Of Faith
5. Two Of Us

Duration : Approx. 28 minutes

Visit the Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghosts bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-08-22 by Nick Harkins
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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