Cornish psychedelic doomsters Cybernetic Witch Cult bring forth their 3rd album: Absurdum Ad Nauseam. This 3 piece have managed to put together a great slice of ass-kicking stoner doom with a geeky, cult sci-fi/horror movie aesthetic evident on track names such as ‘Hypercomputer part 1’ and ‘Cromagnonaut’.
The album opens with a trippy nauseating intro, sounding like something from a horror movie soundtrack. It’s heavy on the FX featuring some rather spacey and retro sounds reminiscent of Hawkwind’s ‘Silver Machine’. As the intro kicks off into ‘Hypercomputer part 1’, we get a taste of Alex Wyld’s powerful baritone vocals (or as the band describes it “cosmic narration”). His vocals can go from gritty and gravelly in the verses to powerful, sorrowful belting, during the choruses such as on ‘Hypercomputer part 2’ and ‘Spice’. Another thing which stands out about the vocals is there is not an overwhelming muddy echoey effect on them, as used by many contemporaries in the sub-genre – notably Electric Wizard. The significance being you can actually hear the lyrics pretty clearly most of the time, which makes the listening experience more immersive.
The whole album gels together well no less than 3 out of the 8 tracks on this album coming in around the 9-minute mark, but none of these feel like they start to get boring or drag on. The flow between tracks on the album is for the most part seamless to the point where it feels like each song is just a different movement within one long piece. The fact that ‘Hypercomputer’ is split into 2 parts also adds to this effect, as the same moments from the first song return in the final track to tie the whole album together neatly.
‘The Ivory Tower’ is a nice proggy highlight, featuring some harmonica which helps to bring out part of the chorus melody, similar to the harmonica famously used on Black Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’. This track also features a muffled sample from an old movie, having a layered and trippy effect and bringing a bit of a Rob Zombie flavour to it, as cult movie samples are something he is famed for using prolifically. 60/70s sounding Hammond organ also adds to the vintage proggy and psychedelic mood.
‘Spice’ is definitely one of the heaviest if not the heaviest track on the album with its crushing riffs and Alex’s foreboding cries of “the spice must flow”. ‘The Cetacean’ is another great track for heavy riffs towards the end of this track there are some great fast-paced heavy, swinging, and almost folky riffs; such as those used on early Sabbath tracks like ‘Hand of Doom’ and ‘St Vitus’ Dance’. Lyrically speaking this song seems to be inspired by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as it describes dolphins rising up into space, but manages to do so in a way that doesn’t sound immediately ridiculous. Instead letting the humour sink in slowly, as it becomes more apparent what the lyrics are alluding to.
Another highlight of this album is the middle eastern sounding guitar and drumming in the instrumental break in the middle of ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’. This adds some welcome variety and an atmospheric break from onslaught of riffs either side of it.
Overall, this album is a thoroughly enjoyable stoner doom riff-fest – it’s bound to be a winner for anyone already into the subgenre. The song writing and musicianship is solid enough for it to also serve as a good entry point for anyone new to the subgenre.
Recommended for fans of: Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Admiral Sire Cloudesley Shovell, Saint Vitus, Hawkwind, Sleep, Rob Zombie, Candlemass, Cathedral, Acid Bath, Sir Lord Baltimore.