KARYN CRISIS’ GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES – Salem’s Wounds
Karyn Crisis… I remember her leading the mighty New York act Crisis during 1993-2006, and seeing the band live on tour with Voivod and Pro-Pain during their ascension. Now back with her own Gospel of the Witches, the band contains notables like her husband Davide Tiso, Immolation’s Ross Dolan, Tombs’ Mike Hill, and Vaura’s Charlie Schmid, as well as veteran producer Jamie King. "Salem’s Wounds" is the debut album, a 13 track, 61 minute trek into occult metal: experimental, multi-faceted, and incorporating everything from doom to hardcore, death to traditional strains. Karyn’s voice still can rip the head of a bat one moment and lull a baby to sleep the next – check out "Howl at the Moon" for both aspects.
Uniqueness can be embraced in a cult format for most – and that’s how I feel "Salem’s Wounds" will be received. Long time Karyn fans will dig this, but I would imagine the fringes who seek out non-traditional outfits may champion Karyn Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches as well. Be it the ‘if you don’t go within you go without’ refrains for the quieter "The Secret", the eerie keyboard and guitar strains for the title track, or the progressive occult heaviness for the 6:28 "The Alchemist", this is a record that deserves intense headphone sessions. Smart use of everyone’s talent, the songwriting and performances make this a satisfying experience each and every time.
When the hurt or pain doesn’t subside, "Salem’s Wounds" can buffer those thoughts and channel the negative into a better direction.