Like a hell-broth boil and bubble
dB rating: 8/10
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Sometimes an intro on an EP seems superfluous. But on Poisoned Blood—from Portlandia’s own death metal coven Witch Vomit—it allows an opportunity to ponder important questions before the shitfun starts. Like, is there anything unique about the actual puke of a spell-caster? Does it possess supernatural elements of its own, or does that all depend on the black magic brew they guzzled from their cauldron? Judging by Macbeth’s three witches, the splatter would include some newt’s eyes, bat fur, snake tongues and other assorted creepy crawlers. The recipe for Witch Vomit’s worm-infested tunes may not be quite as exotic, but it sounds just as lethal.
If you heard last year’s A Scream from the Tomb Below you know what’s in store: old-school DM like a time portal spewed them back into 1992. Swedeath has been repeatedly jotted on Witch Vomit’s toe-tag, and Poisoned Blood immediately supports that diagnosis. After its initial shivering solo, “Doomed Realm” slams from blasts to buzzsaw stomps like it’s darkly recollecting vintage Carnage. But “Circle of Blood” and “Fevers of Torment” slow those groovy Grave passages to a crawl, closer to the American death-doom vibe of Retribution for the Dead-era Autopsy. And while there may not be eyes of newt, Witch Vomit toss Demigod’s sullen eyes into the stew and stir until the broth is Cemetary’s (evil) shade of gray.
Witch Vomit aren’t concerned with elevating death metal to a new, transcendental art form. Like the band’s name, Poisoned Blood is a violent heave. But death metal that feels at home playing in a Portland strip club—as Witch Vomit have—is the best kind of violent heave.
— Sean Frasier
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