Burning Witch Crippled Lucifer

Doom-dirge practitioners Burning Witch have long since shuffled off this mortal coil but this reissued compilation — now expanded to two CDs — collects all their recordings with a lavishly thick 40-page booklet of photos, medieval images and essays. Subtitled Ten Psalms for Our Lord of Light (a twist on the original limited-edition Seven Psalms released in 1998), Crippled Lucifer is a must for all doom fans. The Towers… disc predates the predominant dirge that would put Stephen O’Malley’s Sunn0))) on the metal map and seems more Grief-inspired, with tasteful feedback and prolonged chords of woe. The standout is the semi-upbeat "The Bleeder,” taken from the out-of-print split with Goatsnake. Once only available on the vinyl Asva split, the title track of the Rift.Canyon.Dreams disc sees its CD debut here: an impossibly bleak 13-minute epic that melds lonely goth vocals to minimalist funeral sludge, like Yob at 16 rpm. Though an early member of the Witch, guitarist Greg Anderson left to form Goatsnake and didn’t appear on these recordings, yet their guitar tone is very similar to what would become Goatsnake’s specific gravity. Though Burning Witch long swapped ice water for blood, Crippled Lucifer keeps their corpse warm. (Southern Lord)