By: Gavin Brown
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Released on November 25, 2016 via Sunmask Records
Sea Witch and Black Tremor are two brilliant instrumental bands who unite for this split release and while at first listen it would seem that the two bands don’t have that much in common musically, there is definitely a spirit that links them and after repeated listens, the bond between the two bands is evident. This is music that is in turn both heavy and subtle, but beautiful at the heart of it.
Musically Sea Witch are a much heavier prospect than Black Tremor with their bass heavy, weighty take on instrumental funeral doom, but there is indeed a subtle heaviness to the doomy stoner folk of Black Tremor and it is in evidence on their material on this split and there is a calming subtlety in evidence to Sea Witch too.
Black Tremor appear first with their two track, the hazy ‘Hexus Part One’ and ‘Hexus Part Two’ and from the offset you can’t be helped but be drawn into their laid back grooves that are elevated by the stirring use of the violin. The two tracks merge into one really, and the result is one huge sprawling and inspiring jam that sounds especially huge despite the laid back vibe of it all and it is hopeful for most of the journey, but there is also an element of well used sadness that creeps into the equation resulting in both of the tracks being executed extremely well with the haunting use of the violin adding a mournful element to the bands music that Black Tremor use to their advantage.
Sadness is something that could be said of Sea Witch’s music, in that in addition to the unrelenting heaviness there is that sense of mournful sadness and hopelessness involved in their tracks on this split and these elements fit like a glove. There is a beauty to that sadness though and the band’s take on immersive funeral doom is an epic and atmospheric event that will take your breath away with the sheer power of the music. The Sea Witch tracks ‘Green Ride’, ‘As The Crow Flies Part One’ and ‘As The Crow Flies Part Two’ form an oppressively bleak (and as with Black Tremor), but stirring trilogy of songs that begged to be listened to over and over.
The material on this split spans a lot of emotional boundaries through the music, with its twists and turns and both Sea Witch and Black Tremor triumph with the end result. A monumental split from two immense bands.