Review: Cybernetic Witch Cult – Troglodithic Trip
Written by Gary Hernandez
Jesus-god. That’s my one-word review of Cybernetic Witch Cult’s newest release, Troglodithic Trip, a six-track EP featuring two brand new tracks plus four “re-imagined” tracks from their 2015 Morlock Rock. My next review will be in haiku, so stick around for that.
On their 2016 live album, Live at the Unicorn, the band treats the audience to an earlier listen to “Cult of the Druid.”
“This is about going to Mars on a giant rocket,” vocalist and guitarist Alex Wyld tells the crowd. “Full of druids.”
That’s Cybernetic Witch Cult. Going to Mars on a giant rocket full of druids. Anything else you’d like to add? Why yes, how about a fist full of dinosaurs and a barrel of existential apes?
Troglodithic Trip is all of that and more; a stoner metal wet dream laced with lyrical themes from Philip K. Dick, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and every deliciously overwrought sci-fi b-movie ever made. This EP has deep grooving riffs chipped right off the cold stone of the heavy metal monolith, and vocal renderings both clear enough to understand and visceral enough to believe—all wrapped up in a cohesive package as compelling as a Dark Horse graphic novel.
So why re-record four tracks from their first album? I’m guessing because the production quality of Morlock Rock, as good and raw of an album as it is, was not up to the standard that is to be expected from Stoner Metal bands. And because they can; and because the result the second time around was incredible.
For instance, the original “Tyrannosaurus Hex” is fairly good, but the remake is monstrous, no pun intended. I think the remakes allow the band to better showcase their versatility; and, gives them the chance to show off new drummer Lewis May’s exceptional skills at beating the skins.
On that note, the band has had more drummers than Ash Williams has shotgun shells, but I’d say May is a keeper. He and bassist Kale Deane pull together a rich rhythmic landscape out of which Alex Wyld is able to bring to life a trove of doom-tinged solos and infectious riffs. The band is as tight as it can probably get. The power trio easily takes up the same sound space as a solid four piece and they are as talented as they are creative.
Stand out tracks: “Sagittarious A*,” “Cult of the Druid,” “Forbidden Fruit,” “Tyrannosaurus Hex.”
Regrettable tracks? Uhm, that would be none. The only down side to Troglodithic Trip is its brevity. After 2016’s Spaceous Cretaceous (another crushing album), I think fans were hoping for another full-length release. Three or four more tracks would have been incredible.
I should also say that in addition to four tracks being updated, the artwork is also a refreshed take of the original Morlock Rock cover art. Both are by Aimée Wyld, who also does the art work for Cretaceous.
Cybernetic Witch Cult has been at it for just over three years now. Their release pace has been impressive, and they stay active on the road. Does this mean we’ll have another LP in 2018? We can only hope. Until then, keep an eye on their gig listings and, for the love of god, beware of druidic dinosaur lords looking to explore the recesses of deep space. It only leads to mayhem and cold, cold death. 9/10