The very classic sound of metal itself finds itself in a special place as being something that simply cannot die. The reverence that is held for that very sound is something that continues to influence legions of acts new and old to this day with few managing to bring it back to life in a meaningful way, and it’s every time that a band achieves such a feat that we’re all but left to bask in its glory. For the best that achieves it, that brand of proto-metal is nothing short of intoxicating as the very greatest are able to make it feel as though their music was picked off the shelves during the very infancy of heavy metal. As we see such reverence and fervor grow by the year, it’s only natural to expect a select few acts would have the ability to come out of the woodwork with immediate talent and promise. Returning quickly with a redoing of their debut EP and a few new pieces to go with it, Elk Witch is certainly a prospect of such prowess.
There’s never any shame to go back and redo old material to bring it back to life in a form that you can be happier with as a band so long as there is meaning and passion still flowing through the performance, and a couple of new pieces of material certainly help make for a fresh experience for returning listeners. It’s an idea that can be easily bungled in the hands of people that don’t know how to properly handle such a thing, but it’s clear for the entirety of “Beyond the Mountain” that Elk Witch knew precisely what they were doing every step along the way. But six tracks adorn this album with four of them featured in last year’s debut, but it’s in every way that such a revisit was worth it as there is real power, magic, and power to be found between the riffs and the energy that’s woven into each and every minute of this creation in such an exquisite fashion that it virtually leaves the jaw on the floor and the mind all but entranced as Elk Witch weaves a fantastic listen that’s as dynamic as it is potent. You can feel the very original roots of metal intertwined with classic rock with dashes of psychedelic and progressive influences connecting beautifully with the themes of the Pacific Northwest that Elk Witch embodies in virtually every given moment of “Beyond the Mountain” to not only enhance this creation with a deeply personal connection but one that feels as though we’re communing with the spirits themselves.
Quickly, you come to realize that what’s been brought forth for this effort is far from another paltry attempt at doing the classic roots justice. Rather, Elk Witch makes for one hell of a performance the likes of which becomes nigh on gripping right from the onset to deliver a performance that’s as powerful as it is promising. “Beyond the Mountain” shows us that this band is already not one to miss by any means whatsoever with the future right for their taking if the excellence that’s on full display here is any true indication of what’s to be had.
LISTEN to “Beyond the Mountain” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Elk Witch on Facebook here.