Acid Witch - Evil Sound Screamers
Hells Headbangers
Synth doom / horror metal
10 songs (37' 25")
Release year: 2017
Acid Witch, Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Andy

Somehow I don't recall many people getting as much into Halloween before my generation became adults. Taking my little ones trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I saw fog machines, strobes, robot monsters jumping out at trick-or-treaters from the porch, and a whole lot of slasher-movie cosplay on the part of the homeowners. And if there's one band that celebrates the cheap thrills of 1980s Halloween, it's Acid Witch. Fittingly, they released their latest, Evil Sound Screamers, on October 31st.

There's even more synth than before -- keyboardist Slasher Dave has never concealed his love for retro analog keyboard effects -- and more of a hard rock sound here than the chugging stoner doom of the past two releases. The death-metal growls have been partially replaced with some of the rough but clearer vocals of Midnight Movies, now occasionally rising to a diseased croak or a manic shriek. But the group's hallmark -- horror-movie funhouse effects, big meaty guitar riffs, and keyboard riddles -- stays the same here. Old Halloween public service notices are the primary effect used, though a witch-narration like the intro from Witchtanic Hellucinations appears in the middle of the track. Sometimes the sonic space gets as crowded as a costume store the week before Halloween with all the effects going off at once.

The subject matter is pretty varied too. Since their first album, the horror themes have branched out, and on this album you get odes to trick-or-treating; Detroit's local monster, the Nain Rouge; and haunted funhouses. Normally I love the cheesy fun of a good Acid Witch album, but it does feel a teeny bit more forced this time than in the past. Sometimes songs drag a bit longer than they should, even with the old-time doom-metal vibe that Acid Witch has always had at their fingertips, and the three sample tracks aren't as amusing this time around. That being said, it's still fun to listen to what the band has brewed up here. Nain Rouge and Hardrock Halloween, a confidently upbeat track with a stoner-blues vibe, are some of the standouts.

For fans of Acid Witch's past work, it's clear that they haven't run out of ideas. Step into the cave and queue up for another sip from the witch's ladle -- just don't pay too much attention to the ingredients she's dropping in...


Killing Songs :
Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf), Hardrock Halloween
Andy quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Acid Witch that we have reviewed:
Acid Witch - Midnight Movies reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Acid Witch - Stoned reviewed by Charles and quoted 80 / 100
Acid Witch - Witchtanic Hellucinations reviewed by Charles and quoted 74 / 100
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