You don’t have to be on psychedelics to enjoy psych-rock heroes, Blackwater Holylight. These Portland based babes are back with a new shredder, quickly after the release of their debut album last year. Don’t let their dreamy voices fool you, this album is deceivingly heavy and filled to the brim with creepy melodies and tones that’ll make gear-heads foam at the mouth. This album feels like a full moon on Halloween, something surreal and frightening, wrapped in mystery and soaked in shoegaze. It’ll cast a spell on you.
There is something so retro and beautiful about their sound, yet so dark and dynamic. It’s like if The Mamas and the Papas got really into doom metal (I know, it’s weird to think about). That being said, Blackwater Holylight covers a lot of ground with their style, and could appeal to fans of Sabbath, Church of the Cosmic Skull, The B-52’s, ABBA, Hippie Death Cult (another great Portland band), and many more artists. There’s a lot going on in these tracks, but they combine it gracefully and with a uniqueness that feels magical and scary at the same time. Don’t worry, you’re not tripping. Or are you?
It’s hard to pick favorite songs from an album that feels like a complete work, full of its own specific parts and pieces, but some definitely give the record its most powerful moments. “Motorcycle” is one of the heavier/ghostlier tracks and sounds like a cross between The Phantom of the Opera and a fuzz-drenched fight riff. “Spiders” sounds like, well… spiders. It’s a creepy, crawly track with haunting hooks and spooky leads. “Lullaby” feels like relaxing after the best day ever, something sleepy and powerful all at once. “Moonlit” is one of the more magical sounding songs, and is full of stunning harmonies and medieval sounding licks. The bass-work on these tracks is incredible, and the guitar tones alone are enough to get excited about. With a mix this raw and natural, everything feels like it’s in your room with you.
This album has something for everyone. Metal-head or pop lover, Wiccan or Witch, this takes all your preconceived notions of psych-rock and throws them out the window. These women brewed up an album that is bound to put them on the map. My advice? Buy yourself a new leather jacket and set the volume to eleven. This one’s a keeper.