Acid Witch – Rot Among Us Review

Unlike the treacherous triumvirate of necromancers up on the hill in Macbeth, Acid Witch are a silly, tongue-in-cheek coven and always have been. Their stoner doom-death style owes more to cheesy horror flicks from the 60s and 70s than it does to Black Sabbath or Autopsy and their typical fare feels like it could function as a soundtrack for Return of the Living Dead or Trick or Treat with the camp levels besting those seen around Crystal Lake. On fourth album Rot Among Us little has changed in their odd witch’s brew. You still get big stoner doom riffs, cackling death vocals and spooky carnival synths to set a scary mood as the trick-or-treaters rampage through the night in search of sugary sustenance. Considering it’s been nearly 5 years since Acid Witch graced us with a full-length platter, it’s a small surprise just how little their style has evolved, but some things are best left fugly and raw. Is this one of those ghastly things existing outside polite society?

Opener “Gather Each Witch” kicks things off in a BIG way with an utterly irresistible metal anthem you’ll be singing along with almost immediately. It’s just so dumb and fun you can’t help but love it and I can guarantee this will go over HUUUUGE live. It’s one of my favorite Acid Witch moments despite its very simple approach and I cannot stop chanting the chorus. This chronic disability may get me divorced, but it is what it is. More importantly, it dares the rest of Rot Among Us to soar like flying monkeys and equal its hook-tastic goodness. Sadly, Acid Witch cannot do this, but there are still entertaining moments to be disinterred. The title track is a rowdy riff-fest with enough brawn and balls to make an impression and “The Sleeper” is like something pre-Swansong era Carcass might have come up with if they got heavily dosed by Cathedral prior to the writing process. “Tommyrotters” is almost like a Hooded Menace number but all dirtied up and injected with a bigger 80s metal influence. The amazingly titled “Evil Dad (Dad by Dawn)” is a short blast of high-energy deathrash and it’s WAAAY overdone vocally but sure to get a few headbangs out of all but the iciest of metal misers.

With the fun, however, comes the witch gunk. Several songs either float by without doing much to grab you (“Psychedeathic Swampnosis”) or just flail around like Linda Blair without producing enough green vomit (“Chelsea Didn’t Come Home Last Night”). None of the stuff is awful, but Rot Among Us ends up a less consistently stirring album with the lesser stuff dragging down the good. At a concise 41 minutes, Rot Among Us won’t strike anyone as overly long and things move at a decently brisk pace for a stoner doom album.

The performances are what you’d expect on an Acid Witch opus. Slasher Dave continues to provide hyperactive and cartoony death vocals, shrieks, and weird spoken word witch-schtick along with a plethora of mega-cheesy synths and keyboards. He overdoes everything, but that’s part of what makes Acid Witch who they are. Nuanced this shit is not. Shagrat joins Dave on vocals and he also greatly overdoes things while also laying down the bass lines. Here’s where I stress the point that the vocals are waaay overdone in case you missed it earlier. Okay, we should be good now. Magic Mike Tuff handles guitar and offers a good selection of plodding, plundering stoner doom riffs while veering off to explore death, thrash, and traditional metal as he sees fit. It’s his playing that keeps the horror show on track for the most part and he does a good job of drawing the listener in with his heavy leads and surprisingly tasteful melodies.

I doubt there will ever be an Acid Witch release that nails a huge score here, and they consistently do just enough to get respectable ratings. Rot Among Us continues the trend. It’s dumb graveyard fun with enough hooks and entertainment value to get a few spins, but like most of their stuff, it probably won’t stay in rotation much past spooky season. Come for “Gather Each Witch” but stay for the boil and the bubble.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps
Label: Hell’s Headbangers
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: October 31st, 2022

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