The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Reviews

Cybernetic Witch Cult
Absurdum ad Nauseam Tom Coles , January 20th, 2020 10:00

Cybernetic Witch Cult's Absurdum Ad Nauseum captures a heady, trippy energy with some of the wild energy of King Gizzard, finds Tom Coles

Blustering, swaggering, thunderous heavy metal is electrifying, pompous and enormously camp. The stoner metal subset is sonically warmer, making excessive use of fuzz pedals, which has the effect of smoothing down the metallic edges. In doing so some of the budget am-dram quality is lost, and that's a little sad. Cue Cybernetic Witch Cult, amongst the better practitioners embracing their excessive roots.

CWC have some obvious hallmarks, sometimes a little too naked. They pay fealty to Hawkwind, Monster Magnet, and King Gizzard in their riffs and structure. Their important distinction is that they retain their personality through their wild stories, lovingly referencing science fiction films and philosophy greats without embarking on an insincere post-scoring exercise with attentive fans.

The narratives are charming, and they're wholly familiar to the audience; all the scene-setting is dealt with. The sense of shared experience is what elevates them from their peers, presenting themselves as effortlessly good-natured.

CWC's aesthetic is totally sincere. Their deeply-earnest affability makes up for the mawkishness, which is why it comes across as fun and campy rather than joyless, dour, or novelty-heavy. There's an obvious comparison to King Gizzard to be made, generally favourably; in comparison, Gizz are exhausting and twee, and this has cooler riffs. But there's less novelty here, less that will surprise you. One sometimes wishes there was a little more out-the-box stuff; those who like their psych a little wonkier might leave feeling a little miffed.

That said, who else in metal has this much character? There are plenty of diverse, technical bands across the heavy spectrum, but there are few as warm and approachable as CWC. Absurdum Ad Nauseum consolidates their goodwill approach to their craft, leaving us with a personable, earnest record.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.