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

Weirdo sludge from the queen of twisted heaviness

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