Witch Mountain cast aside the dour drone oft adopted by the genre practitioners and instead successfully hearken back to the seeds of Sabbath, plunging into the depths, ascending the peaks, all the while shrouded in smoke and shadow. Likewise, the band can namecheck Crowley with the best of 'em ("Aurelia") but also belt out a character-driven gunslinger ballad in the gothic tradition of Nick Cave ("The Ballad of Lanky Rae"). "Beekeeper," in particular, communicates the band's best qualities. The pause at 37 seconds in after smoke...smoke...smells of oak communicates hesitation, exhaustion, resignation and, finally, commitment to descent, to doom. The chorus shifts from the most intentionally wretched of vocals to an outright hymn of praise extolling the cycle of dominance and submission.
With only six tracks in 45 minutes, Cauldron of the Wild offers little room for Witch Mountain to flag and, thankfully, they never do. With the last two glorious numbers making up nearly half the record's length, Cauldron of the Wild comes across as the first two acts in some grand guignol. It seems like Witch Mountain have just gotten started and we're waiting, watching between our fingers, for what's next.