Holy Water EP  

Here’s a short little EP from an emerging artist, Witnesses, who dabbles in doom as well as the ambient genres. While I am not a fan of the ambient genre in general, I am a massive fan of the doom part of the sound Greg Schwan has conjured. So when he asked if he could send me this to review, my answer was an easy “yes.”

The EP itself consists of 3 songs in a total of around 18 minutes. One of which is an outro of sorts at under 2 minutes, so the meat of the affair is within the first two.

Of those, “Borgo Pass” is the first one, taking on a dark folk vibe with the heavy, distorted riffing and the ethereal female vocals of Gabby Coenen. Nearly 3 minutes in, however, that riffing goes away and some clean, grandpas’ guitars come take over, of course not lasting too long before the heavy riffing comes back with vocals in tow. The minimalist approach here with the riffing and drumming is heavy in that stoner doom sort of way, but definitely not “fast,” so if you’re trying to find something more in that direction, look elsewhere.

The next track, “Cloistered in Purfleet,” starts out with an intro that sounds like it’s about to break into a bad ass riff, but instead we’re met with gorgeous female vocals and a mostly quiet/ambient background. It takes over 2 minutes before any guitars come in and they’re of the cleaner variety until we hear some feedback around 4 minutes in. In the latter part of this track, the vocal hook fits along very well with the riffing and is a highlight of the EP.

Once again, as mentioned above, there are only 3 tracks, and the last one is a proper, clean guitar outro called “The Ballad of Lucy and Mina.” Of course, Greg’s compositional prowess shines bright here, along with Gabby’s excellent vocals throughout. I’m a big fan of Witnesses’ previous work, being that the last two full lengths are two of my favorite releases from the last few years, and this EP stands on its own merits. Greg is doing excellent work, that continues here, and you’d be wise to start following him now, as there’s sure to be more excellent music to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
July 8th, 2022


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