Days of Rona: Jeremy Hall of Shadow Witch

Posted in Features on April 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

shadow witch jeremy hall (Photo by Jeanine Ortt)

Days of Rona: Jeremy Hall of Shadow Witch (Kingston, New York)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Shadow Witch has had to cancel a few shows, but it’s a wait-and-see approach as to when we’ll be back out there. It’s certainly started affecting some of the upcoming festivals we were counting on to be out there supporting our new album. The other thing has been a cessation of practices for now, but we’re starting to share files online to work on new songs. The ideas are starting to flow. Everyone’s health has been okay so far and we’re taking lots of precautions especially considering my wife suffers from an autoimmune inflammatory disease. We’re all practicing our social isolation as best we can. I live in the woods, so I can go outside and take lots of walks.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Well, I’m from upstate NY, so the quarantine rules are pretty strict. We’re about 90 minutes from New York City, so it’s definitely a scary time. We’re supposed “shelter in place” essentially but Cuomo, the governor, calls it “NY on Pause” because “shelter in place” is only used for active shooters. But you get the idea. That’s where we are and where we will be for a while. But it’s important to do it. I am a librarian and professor at a college with epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists and value their opinions. This is what they say we should be doing.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

A lot of bands we’re friends with have had to cancel tours. Festivals are starting to get postponed. Merch people aren’t getting jobs. Venues and bars are shut down. One effect I really worry about is losing a lot of venues in the scene as an outcome of this. People need to get out there and support local bars and restaurants if they can — get takeout! Another thing is that I’ve been spending less time on social media for band stuff because there’s so much rampant misinformation. It just makes a tough situation even worse. It’s going to take some time for the community to bounce back after this, but I think there’s a desire in everyone to come back stronger than ever.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

One thing is taking care of your friends and family in a time like this. I know this gets said often, but it’s important to realize that we all have a role in this. Even if it’s staying home sitting on your ass binge-watching Tiger King. I’ve been working remote and honestly I’m busier than ever. And I’m lucky. I have friends who’ve had to shut down their businesses and friends who’ve been laid off. So I think it’s important for everyone to just be more mindful of how all our lives impact each other. Help out where you can. My wife and I sewed a bunch of masks to donate to the local hospital — well, she sewed them and I cut out the fabric. But each little part makes a difference. We all have a chance right now to make a difference. That’s one thing I’d like people to know.

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

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Review & Full Album Stream: Shadow Witch, Under the Shadow of a Witch

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Shadow Witch Under the Shadow of a Witch

[Click play above to stream Under the Shadow of a Witch by Shadow Witch in its entirety. Album is out Friday on Argonauta Records.]

The two halves of Shadow Witch‘s Under the Shadow of a Witch break just about evenly into vinyl sides, each one bearing its own subtitle. The first is ‘Spearfinger and Other Cautionary Tales’ and the second is ‘Fountain and Other Love Songs.’ In this way, the Kingston, New York, four-piece of vocalist/Mellotronist/noisemaker Earl Walker Lundy, guitarist Jeremy Hall, bassist David Pannullo and drummer Doug Beans (since replaced by Justin Zipperle) introduce the two central concepts with which their third album is working, largely through metaphor, bluesy, distinctly Southern-rooted storytelling, but rife with a realization of the dark heavy rock aesthetic the band have been building toward over the course of their two prior LPs, 2017’s Disciples of the Crow (review here) and 2016’s Sun Killer (discussed here), as they’ve moved from labels like Snake Charmer Coalition, Salt of the Earth and Kozmik Artifactz to find a home on Argonauta Records.

Under the Shadow of a Witch contains nine songs and altogether runs just under 40 minutes in total, indeed opening with “Spearfinger” in immediate and intense fashion, the four-piece clearly rushing to get their audience swept up in the energy of their shortest inclusion, while on the other end, “Fountain” closes at over eight minutes as the longest cut. All between, their songs are crafted, arranged thoughtfully, and very much playing with a studio presentation toward a live energy. That is, they’re not trying to ape a live show by being overly or needlessly raw, but there is attention given in the recording by Paul Orofino at Millbrook Sound to maintaining to one degree or another the vitality with which “Spearfinger” casts such a striking initial impression. Even as the penultimate “Sour” leads into the finale, it does so on a swell of noise and layered soloing from Hall with crashing cymbals behind.

As there would be on a record with such consideration underlying its execution, there is no shortage of dynamic at play in terms of tempo and general style, whether it’s the subdued acoustic beginnings of early highlight “Demon’s Hook” or side B leadoff “Saint Magdalene” — fleeting though they may be — or the effectively-placed emergence of Mellotron in the final-minute slowdown of the former, the chorus of which lives up to its title, i.e., that hook is for sure a demon in its potential to possess. It would perhaps be the catchiest song on Under the Shadow of a Witch — the great irony of the album is that for as much as it’s meant to be taken as Side Caution and Side Love, as it were, the component tracks do so much work to stand out individually — but for the subsequent “Wolf Among the Sheep,” begun with a spoken preach and working along an anti-dogmatic theme critiquing organized religion in a manner well presented if familiar.

While we’re talking about ironies, it’s hard to imagine Shadow Witch, in terms of listeners, aren’t preaching to the converted there, but again, it’s the chorus that’s the real sway of the piece as it rounds out the launchpoint salvo with “Spearfinger” and “Demon’s Hook,” portraying Shadow Witch as a band sure in their approach and ready for consideration at another level from where they’ve been before. They have, in terms of sound, found what they’ve been looking for this whole time.

shadow witch (photo by Kristin Troost Hall)

A third album is a natural place for that to happen, but more specifically, one can’t help but be drawn to the sense of frontman presence Lundy brings to his performance here. Part of that is that his voice, presented often in layers, with harmonies and other nuances of arrangements — dude can sing, and that always helps — is forward in the mix as to stand out from Hall‘s guitar, Pannullo‘s bass and Beans‘ drums, but the storytelling elements that begin with “Spearfinger” continue throughout that lead salvo and into the lush and nodding riff of “Witches of Aendor,” which touches on metal in its later reaches as Shadow Witch are wont to do without ever giving in entirely to aggressive posturing. Through that careening, chugging finish and into the more straightforward side A finale “Shifter” — another chorus not to be discounted — Lundy‘s task is to unite the material through whatever variety surrounds, and he does so impressively while donning a host of characters and perspectives along with ample melodic command.

There are moments where the balance tips one way or the other between band and frontman, but that ends up adding to the overarching dynamic of Under the Shadow of a Witch as a whole. As “Saint Magdalene” introduces the notion of a more patient side B about to unfold, it does so with a stepped-back Lundy (relatively speaking) and a stepped-up groove, an airier guitar returning temporarily in the second half of the song amid soulful, bluesy-almost-in-spite-of-themselves vocals that lead to a rousing solo. The brashest and most aggro of the nine inclusions, “6×6” is call-and-response through the verse and crunch in the rhythm — all business — as it makes its way to the chorus and a jarring strike of guitar after the title line is delivered. If Shadow Witch are metal anywhere on their third LP, it’s in “6×6,” but that doesn’t come at the expense of songwriting, which remains top priority.

It and “Sour” make a fitting pair for a dug-in vibe ahead of the closer, keeping momentum rolling without losing the thread of complexity coinciding, even if less infectious than “Demon’s Hook” or “Wolf Among the Sheep” earlier. The eight minutes of “Fountain” that follow are time well spent, with guest slide guitar from fellow Kingstonian Pat Harrington of Geezer that’s built toward with a payoff of the bluesy aspects both in Lundy‘s singing and in the progression behind him. They cap with howling wails and intertwining solos in a fitting wash atop the solid rhythmic foundation that’s underscored the various moves made all along, and give Under the Shadow of a Witch an earned sendoff into the ether of its own making.

True to its side’s subtitle, “Fountain” is a love song ultimately, and while I’m not sure I’d say the same about “6×6” — I’m not sure I wouldn’t, mind you — Shadow Witch‘s performance across the span of the full-length as a whole, taken in sides or song-by-song, shines with the feeling of an intention fulfilled. It is the work of a band who went into the studio with a purpose, and who realized that purpose in righteous form. Preach on, Shadow Witch.

Shadow Witch, “Wolf Among the Sheep” official video

Shadow Witch on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Witch on Instagram

Shadow Witch on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Shadow Witch Unveil “Wolf Among the Sheep” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

shadow witch

It’s a Feb. 13 release date for Shadow Witch‘s awaited new album, Under the Shadow of a Witch, through Argonauta Records. So be it. I’ve seen some pics around thee social medias of blacklight shows the band have been doing of late, and they look fairly insane as one would imagine. A touch of the otherworldly or alternate-reality suits Shadow Witch‘s sound well, as does the video for “Wolf Among the Sheep,” which plays up the religious commentary of the track itself.

You know the really fucked thing about Christianity? They tell that shit to kids. Imagine having a kid and being like, “Yo, you better be good because there’s an all-powerful white dude watching you ALL THE TIME EVEN WHILE YOU SLEEP OR PEE and if you’re bad you’ll be set on fire and also that happens forever and ever.” Think about it. That is insane. And I’m speaking as someone who was one of those kids. No wonder people hate each other.

Anyway, you’ll see the snakes, the grainy footage, the speaking in tongues, and yes, the children taking part, as well as the band integrated among the fray — can’t miss them. For further viewing, go back and watch Jesus Camp again. For further listening, stay tuned and I hope it’s not all that long before another track from Under the Shadow of a Witch surfaces. Maybe in January? Hell, I’ll take it whenever it comes. I’m not looking to interrupt anyone’s holiday dinner or anything. Whenever they get around to it is good by me.

Shadow Witch will be at New England Stoner & Doom Fest and will return to Maryland Doom Fest 2020 as well. Because hell yes they will. More dates are reportedly forthcoming, and I believe it.

Dig:

Shadow Witch, “Wolf Among the Sheep” official video

New York Heavy Doom And Stoner Metal Veterans, SHADOW WITCH, Premiere Brand New Music Video!

Under the Shadow of a Witch coming in February 2020 on Argonauta Records!

Shadow Witch, who inked a worldwide deal with Argonauta Records last year, are a heavy rock/stoner metal band from the Hudson Valley region of New York. Forming in the autumn of 2015, the band released their first full-length album Sun Killer to excellent reviews from the international heavy music community in the summer of 2016. A diverse assemblage of songs pulling in Doom, Thrash, NWOBM, and psychedelic and stoner metal, the band backed it up with intense and explosive live shows, opening for King Buffalo, Mothership, and Corrosion of Conformity among others.

Shadow Witch began a new chapter with the release of their second full-length album Disciples of the Crow in December 2017, again gaining excellent reviews from the heavy music community. Countless explosive shows later, the band returns with their highly anticipated third album, titled Under the Shadow of a Witch, coming out on February 13th via Argonauta Records !

To shorten the wait for its official album release, Shadow Witch have just unleashed a brand new video from their upcoming magnum opus! Watch the new clip for Wolf Among The Sheep HERE!

Get ready to kick of into a heavy as hell 2020 with Shadow Witch, and watch out for many more news and album pre-sale infos to follow soon!

Shadow Witch live:
May 15-16, 2020 (US) – NEW ENGLAND STONER AND DOOM FEST
June 18-20, 2020 (US) – MARYLAND DOOM FEST
with many more dates to follow soon!

SHADOW WITCH is:
Justin Zipperle – drums
David Pannullo – bass
Earl Lundy – voice / mellotron / loops
Jeremy Hall – guitars

Shadow Witch on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Witch on Instagram

Shadow Witch on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Shadow Witch Post New Single “Wolf Among the Sheep”; Under the Shadow of a Witch out Early 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

shadow witch

Oh hey, what’s Shadow Witch up to? If that’s the question you’re asking, you probably already know the answer: “Something.” These cats are almost always up to something. They must be itching to get their new album, Under the Shadow of a Witch, released by now, as it was first announced late last year when they signed to Argonauta Records, it’s been given a still-kinda-nebulous “early 2020” due date, and they’re posting a song from it anyhow at least three months in advance of its actual arrival. Understandable. Nobody likes sitting on new material. And frankly, if I had a song sitting around that sounds as cool as “Wolf Among the Sheep” — as much classic metal as it is dark heavy rock — I’d probably want people to hear it too. And longer-term marketing concerns aside, the track is certainly welcome.

And okay, a word about the cover art for Under a Shadow of a Witch. “Nightmarish.” I guess that’s the one word. It’s not the kind of thing I’d want on a t-shirt, but they have a history of striking art one way or another, it’s bound to be noticed, and it’s oddly appropriate to the vibe of “Wolf Among the Sheep.” But yeah. Nightmarish. I have to think that’s what they were going for.

Here’s the announcement from the PR wire and the stream of the track:

shadow witch under the shadow of a witch

Kingston, New York, doom rock collective SHADOW WITCH premieres single of upcoming album!

Under The Shadow Of A Witch will haunt you in early 2020 on Argonauta Records!

Kingston, New York, dark ‘n doom heavy rockers Shadow Witch, have finally revealed the first details about their upcoming, third full length titled Under The Shadow Of A Witch! Set for a release in early 2020, today the music veterans collective has shared the album artwork, created by Shadow Witch’ voice and primary lyricist Earl Lundy, as well as a first single to the track Wolf Among The Sheep.

Says the band:”We’re very excited about this release, and the new partnership with Argonauta Records. The record takes SHADOW WITCH places we haven’t ventured before, both sonically and emotionally. There’s a lot of vulnerability in the lyrics and the vocal performance, and the band worked hard to match that. We’re very proud of the results. This first taste of the album, “WOLF AMONG THE SHEEP”, stands alone in that it’s the only song with possible political overtones. Production-wise though, it very much flows with the rest of the material. We’re really psyched for y’all to hear what we’ve been up to.”

Listen to the appetizer, Wolf Among The Sheep, that makes hunger for more!

SHADOW WITCH is:
Scott Wadowski – drums
David Pannullo – bass
Earl Lundy – voice / mellotron / loops
Jeremy Hall – guitars

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

Shadow Witch, “Wolf Among the Sheep”

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Shadow Witch Post Stooges Cover “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Of course there’s The Riff, but the real test of any cover of The Stooges‘ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ that’s trying to be reasonably loyal to the original is the word ‘here.’ The cloying, seething, sex-starved desperation in Iggy Pop‘s vocal just on that one word was like a siren of hormonal charge going off 50 years ago that can still be heard echoing today. Much to the credit of Shadow Witch frontman Earl Walker Lundy, he nails the “here” and thus the song as a whole, capturing the spirit of the original while bringing it into the band’s own sonic context of dark heavy rock.

Released as a free download, the single is intended as a precursor to Shadow Witch‘s new LP, which is expected in November through Argonauta Records. Gotta keep that momentum up.

Lundy offered some comment on the selection via the PR wire:

shadow witch wanna be your dog

All set to go for the new album “Under the Shadow of the Witch” by U.S. Heavy Psych Doomers Shadow Witch, all details to be revealed in the next days!

To shorten the wait the band just releases today an exciting cover song of THE STOOGES classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” you can listen to here: https://shadowwitch.bandcamp.com/track/i-wanna-be-your-dog

About this song, Earl Walker Lundy, the bands vocalist, says:

“It actually started as a joke ! I was in the middle of this really intense affair, and all the songs we were writing started to be about that, about that girl, that obsessive all-powerful romance. Our drummer thought it would be funny to play a cover that related to the situation. We all love The Stooges, so even though people might not think Stooges when they hear Shadow Witch, it really is an influence. Anyway, when we were recording the album we thought “hey, why not ?!? “ We’d been playing it, and it felt kind of ironic and a bitter-sweet reference to what the album is all about ~ love/obsession/addiction. Also we just want to tease y’all a little; not give away too much just yet.”

The album was recorded with 40 year industry veteran Paul Orofino, who has recorded everyone from “classic rock” stalwarts Mountain, Foghat, Golden Earring, and Blue Oyster Cult to the extremes of Immolation.

Earl says “We really wanted this record to be a big step up sonically from our last, and working with Paul was an incredible opportunity to make that happen. He’s truly a master of his craft, and brought ideas to the table that became integral to the production of the album. I think it’s our strongest work yet.”

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

Shadow Witch, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

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Shadow Witch Sign to Argonauta; Under the Shadow of a Witch Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It has not been all that long since Shadow Witch put out word their drummer search had ended with the acquisition of Connecticut-based Scott Wadowski. Actually, it was about a week and a half ago. In the time since, the Kingston, New York, dark heavy rockers have made public their alliance with Argonauta Records for the release of their next album, the more-than-self-titled Under the Shadow of a Witch, which will be issued next year. There hasn’t been a release date set that I’ve seen, but the band already has slots booked at Maryland Doom Fest, New England Stoner and Doom Fest and SX Stoner Jam at SXSW. On their own, that’d probably be enough to call it a good year, but no doubt there’s more to come as well.

Looking forward to the brew Shadow Witch cook up for their next record, and to seeing them again, first in Connecticut, then hopefully in Maryland as well if they’ll have me. They were awesome at MDDF this year.

From the PR wire:

shadow witch

SHADOW WITCH SIGNS WITH ARGONAUTA RECORDS!

New album coming in 2019!

In 2015, a crew of veteran musicians in Kingston, New York started to share the passion to create powerfully original music. SHADOW WITCH drew their musical influences from various directions, but their goals were simple: harness decades of experience into a cohesive, monstrous sound. While the velocity by which those goals were met is no surprise, the band has now signed a worldwide deal with Italy’s powerhouse label ARGONAUTA RECORDS!

“We are incredibly excited about the next album, and feel that the move to Argonauta Records is the great step forward SHADOW WITCH have been waiting for“, comments vocalist Earl Walker Lundy on the signing. “The music for our upcoming album UNDER THE SHADOW OF A WITCH pushes the band in new directions, that folks may be surprised by. It’s our bluesiest so far, and it’s also a deeply personal album for me. We’re proud of what we’ve written, and honored to be sharing it with the world through Gero and the Argonauta family!”

In August 2016, SHADOW WITCH released their first full-length album ‘Sun Killer’, to excellent reviews from the international heavy music community. The album is a diverse assemblage of songs pulling in doom, thrash, psychedelic and stoner metal, and they back it up with intense, explosive live shows to annihilate any listener hesitation.

While member resumes may have eased their footing inside the door of many venues, their future is unquestionably solid. SHADOW WITCH began a new chapter in their music history with the official release of their second full-length album ‘Disciples Of The Crow’ in December 2017.

Followed by the recent signing with Argonauta Records, SHADOW WITCH will make their return with an amazing new release filled with the band’s special mood, atmosphere, killer riffs and vocals. The songs are all that’s needed to raise you above the light, surround you in darkness, and bind your ears, hearts and mind as one. SHADOW WITCH will be coming for you in 2019, so stay tuned for more album news and first tunes to be unveiled soon!

SHADOW WITCH is:
Scott Wadowski – drums
David Pannullo – bass
Earl Lundy – voice / mellotron / loops
Jeremy Hall – guitars

LIVE:
3/14 2019 (US) SX Stoner Jam 2019 / Spiderhouse, Austin, TX
5/3-5 2019 (US) – New England Stoner And Doom Fest 2 / Altone’s Music Hall, Jewett City, CT
6/20-23 2019 (US) – Maryland Doom Fest 2019 / Cafe 611, Frederick, MD
with many more dates to follow soon!

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

Shadow Witch, Disciples of the Crow (2017)

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