Karyn Crisis’ Gospel Of The Witches: Salem's Wounds

Weirdo sludge from the queen of twisted heaviness

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Thanks to one of the most intense voices and skewed visions the underground has to offer, Karyn Crisis has been a cult hero for more than two decades, in spite of regular vanishing acts.

Since the release of Ephel Duath’s Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness in 2013 – Karyn is married to ED mastermind Davide Tiso – a sense of increased productivity has become loudly apparent, and although Salem’s Wounds is unlikely to resonate beyond the already converted, it does offer a more concise encapsulation of the vocalist’s strange and unnerving oeuvre.

These songs refuse to make the listener’s life easy: instead, hooks are used sparingly and seldom repeated, as angular riffs and dark atmospherics intertwine amid a bubbling cacophony of purest rage.

Most effective when using a modicum of restraint, most notably on the hypnotic Howl At The Moon and the ethereal ooze of Pillars and The Secret, Karyn’s ongoing creative catharsis remains a compelling, if difficult proposition./o:p

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.