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Cybernetic Witch Cult - Absurdum Ad Nauseam
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Cybernetic Witch Cult - Absurdum Ad Nauseum album cover

Cybernetic Witch Cult. I love this band’s name. It’s a name that sounds unmistakably metal! It’s a name where each individual word inspires a wealth of rock iconography that stimulates the imagination while together they provide a large clue to what makes this band tick. Lyrically, Sci-Fi themes play a major part, and musically it would seem this band draws influence from those pioneering early years of rock and metal, where dark arts and sinister forces went hand in hand with riffs and volume. For those new to the name, as I was, Cybernetic Witch Cult are a stoner metal band with a huge doom sound and an interesting psychedelic edge. They wouldn’t sound out of place on a bill with Hawkwind, Electric Wizard, Cathedral, and Black Sabbath.

I usually find this style of music to be best experienced in a live setting, preferably a small low ceiling basement club venue where the power of sound can feel all encompassing, where the low end rumble shakes walls and makes drinks ripple in their glasses, where the thud of drums punches one’s breath away, where the crunch and fuzz of guitar electrifies the air and tingles the spine. It can be such a difficult thing to recreate on record, to capture the sensory overload of the live show, to build a wall of sound that traverses the senses without relying on pure volume to do the job.

Not so with Absurdum Ad Nauseam, the new album from Cybernetic Witch Cult (their third). Much kudos should be given to Sam Thredder, who engineered, mixed and mastered the record at The Crow’s Nest in London. The sound has great depth and feels alive even when played quietly, with all the subtle details there to be heard in their own space, and when it’s cranked up the whole thing merges into one glorious block of power that is more than capable of rattling the neighbour’s pictures off their walls.

Typically, the songs are long, allowing the grooves to build and the doomy drone to become its most hypnotic. In tracks like Cromagnonaut time is given for those almighty power chords to properly announce their presence, so those gorgeous tones can be properly explored. War Pigs guitar trills add a knowing nod to their metal heritage, and man, do those drums thud good! This is the most uptempo track of the album, with riffs by the bucket load and a sweet buzzing guitar chug throughout. The song really shifts and how the bass keeps the groove nailed through the guitar solo is sheer bliss.

As mentioned, the lyrical themes are inspired by a love for Sci-Fi, exploring ideas with a human angle, anything from life in a computerised simulation to highly evolved space whales escaping climate change(!). Enter The Cetacean. There’s a cool trippy vocal effect here, reminiscent of that in Led Zep’s No Quarter, one of many similar psychedelic touches throughout the album. Continuing in the hallucinogenic vein is Ivory Tower, a nine minute epic which spans the entire gamut of retro vibes. A subtle whirly Hammond ramps up the authentic feel too.

The Myth of Sisyphus deals with Absurdist philosophy, a slow winding dirge that shifts between expansive riffs to gentle eastern motifs via some fantastic drum work around the kit. There are times it feels so spiritual I can almost smell the incense. Spice, their tribute to the Sci-Fi classic Dune, is possibly the heaviest sounding track, and consequently lacks many of the subtleties and dynamics of the rest of the album, but again, there’s big riffs and the tempo is right for a venue full of heads to bang to.

Cromagnonaut aside, the other stand–out track for me comes in two parts and bookends the album... Where Hypercomputer Part 1 sets the mood for what is to follow Part 2 finishes the record in style, reprising everything that makes this record a must have for fans of the stoner genre. It’s another nine minute epic, the tasteful playing from all three band members refined to the point that the track becomes an entirely immersive hypnotic experience, the trance broken by the last lyric of the song, and its freakishly weird vocal effect. Guitar noise, feedback and more general spacey weirdness bring things to a close, the same way the album begins in fact so leave the album on repeat for seamless listening. Cybernetic Witch Cult… Absurdum Ad Nauseam… what a trip!

The album is available now (released 6th Dec 2019).
Buy it now from their bandcamp, or at iTunes.

Find out more about the band at

(Published 13/12/2019)

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