• Witch Taint - Sons Of Midwestern Darkness (Tee Pee Records) Album Review



    Released by: Tee Pee Records
    Released on: April 10th, 2020.
    Year: 2020
    Purchase From Amazon

    What is a Witch Taint? Well, this two piece –the most evil, sinister, extreme and KVLT band from Indiana ever – might be Dave Hill and Phil Costello but it’s way more fun to pretend that the band is made up of Lance The King Of Black Metal And About 500 Things Most People Can’t Handle and his right hand man Matthias Backwards, because that makes them sound far more sinister, Satanic and extreme. They do not like guys from Florida in sweatpants but they will drink all your Mountain Dew and eat all of your nicely decorated cakes. They will also befriend your goats.

    Maybe not so surprisingly, the album starts off with an ‘Introduction’ wherein we are warned about how what we’re about to hear is ‘extremely extreme’ and how those with those who are upset by such things should ‘turn off this recording immediately,’ and like any good introduction does, this then immediately segues into the albums proper opener, We Are Your New Gods. This ninety-eight-second ripper makes it very clear, thanks to some legitimately operatic female backing vocals and a weirdly ominous chorus, that Witch Taint are, well, your new gods. I guess you should just get used to it. They sing here about how they will turn out waters red with blood and how extreme they are. It channels Turbonegro and legit black metal bands and poster black metal bands alike (I’m not naming names because the church around the corner from me does a lot of good with the homeless community and other rad charities) and, well, it is glorious in the way that the biggest black metal cliché should be glorious. You’ll be singing along in no time and throwing up the horns and… questioning many of you live decisions up to this point in your existence. But if it it is parody, and it is parody, at least it’s good parody! Funny and heavy at the same time, high fives to the female opera singer in the background for keeping it KVLT.

    In the forty-eight-second Interlude Black Metal Vs. Death Metal, we bear witness to talk between Lance and Matthias Backwards about which genre of extreme metal is superior (and how some don’t even know the difference between the music of the gods and pussy music for those who still live with their mothers), before then launching into Death To Death Metal, a catchy as fuck rocker that sounds like something out of the early 80’s Judas Priest catalog with wild vocals telling those who don’t like black metal to fuck off, because death metal comes from Florida and how those into death metal should be working at Subway. Fair enough! Either way, here this song once and sing it forever – FUCK OFF!


    Sons Of Satan, which sounds kind of like the title track but isn’t, professes who the band are actually the sons of Lucifer himself, until he joins in and, despite their professions to doing blasphemy before blasphemy was cool, notes that he doesn’t actually know their mothers. Again, we get that wicked awesome female operatic style backing vocal to really give this one an epic feel. Satan himself is surprisingly considerate in this depiction and Malphas from Carpathian Forest plays guitar on the track.


    In Interlude Can One Be Grim And Extreme, Lance is being… grim and extreme, the usual. Matthias is down with bring grim and extreme but realize the need for change. Lance agrees, but Matthias encourages him to not be going through life being grim, kvlt, extreme and metal all of the time. They argue, which leads into Changes (not a Black Sabbath cover), which is a song about how Lance was once consumed with matters of darkness but how now he has a family and a very, very nice apartment. As such, he can no longer go through life so grim and extreme, and how when you need to apply for a mortgage you’ll come to realize this. The harmonies here, about how they have a little less time for Satan, are just killer and as completely ridiculous as this song might be, it’s played with such a remarkably straight face that you can’t help but get worked up about Lance’s condo fees and Matthias’’ having to put his kid through private pre-school. This track is, musically, about as close to black metal as my rendition of Thunder Road on karaoke night at the bar around the corner, but thematically it’s there and it’s all about growing up and how much that fucking sucks. I listened to this one three times in a row.

    Anyway, then we move on to Viking Heaven, which runs almost five-minutes in length, and is the cloest thing to a ‘true’ black metal song on the album as it hits all the required points – Valhalla, drinking, operatic female vocals, glory dwelling in the land of Vikings and its relation to fire and lightening (it rhymes!), and that counts for a lot.

    The second half of the album kicks off with Ready For LVV, the funniest track on an album comprised of funny tracks. “Can I ask you a question? YES! Are you ready for LVV? No!” and by LVV we mean love, ha! If Barry White had ever had the common sense to record with Emperor, it might have sounded like this and the world might have been a much better place: “Ooooh honey child am I the only one who wants nothing more, baby than to plow the sun, and in this world of darkness let me be your knight, come on by my roundtable of grimness.. maybe, baby tonight!”

    With that out of the way, it’s time to ask the question… Are You Ready (To Black Metal)? Likely the most ‘fist pumping jam’ on the album, this one will get you ready to question about how black your blackness really is compared to the blackness offered by Lance and Matthias, because no, you’re not, and you’ll never fucking be! We’ll leave it at that because if you question this, that’s your own problem. This song rules and– FUCK OFF!


    Up next is the Interlude To Grimness Of Noodles, a forty-eight-second bit wherein Lance talks about eating leftover noodles with butter. This rightly moves into Sons Of Midwestern Darkness, a brvtal track about being a black metal band from the Midwest, where things aren’t so much black as just over cast and telling people to have a nice before kicking their ass(es). It is 100% as ridiculous as it sounds, and considerably catchier than you might expect it to be.

    The Dark Way opens with more of that beautifully authentic female operatic craziness in the background, except it isn’t in the background, it’s basically the entire song where you’re encouraged to turn out the light in the middle of the night!

    Taint Of The Witch brings it all full circle with a track that sounds like a gen-u-wine black metal track complete with howling, demonic vocals and primitively effective vocals. The female operatic are back, and the chorus about ‘witch taint’ being the ‘taint of the witch’ while those vocals howl behind everything….it’s nuts but it works.

    Conclusion finishes things up with the pair talking about how they do or do not get tired or worshipping Satan. Which is a rad way to end the album, unless you’re into bonus track, at which point keep your ears open for the five-minute Gods Of The North, a track about heathens of every nation should unite behind the gods of frozen lakes, the gods of the northern regions, for devilish purposes. The name drop Saskatoon and Toronto (which no one likes), which effectively gives them carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want to do.

    Hall Of The Witch, a second bonus track, hits the heavy high points over its three-minute running time. It’s about how the hall of the witch is the witch’s house so get the fuck out – that more or less says it all but it is all done with the right balance of parody and legitimately intent that you can’t help but get a little wrapped up in the heaviness of it all. And that guitar solo is pretty killer.

    And pretty killer describes this album. If you take it all too seriously you’ve got bigger problems to deal with, but if you are into metal –be that metal thrash, death, black, power or whatever – and have a sense of humor, it’s hard not to get a big evil kick out of this record. It isn’t something you should take too seriously, but it is definitely amusing. And it’s hard to really say much more about this than that. The songs are as catchy as they are ridiculous and the musicianship way more than respectable, even if the subject matter is… respectably silly (and I write this as someone who has been to more than a few black metal shows over the last twenty years). It is well put together and a nice tribute to those who take black/death/extreme metal as seriously as some do. It’s unlikely that this’ll make you want to burn down a church or six, but if you can laugh at your own interests – or my interests – give this a spin and enjoy yourself.