All of Them Witches bring dark and eerie things to mind with its wistful and mournful sounds, and that’s a very good thing. Listening to their 2016 debut The Coven brought to mind the slight hint of campfire smoke hovering in the air, distant light flickering in a dense forest, a dead moon hanging in the night sky, and a boarded up cabin off the beat and narrow that holds secrets our feeble minds cannot bear to comprehend. These are the things I thought of when I first heard The Coven. All of Them Witches, a one-man operation, runs on the imagination and nightmares of Gary Dimes. He steps into the musical world of 70s and 80s horror cinema and stitches together musical motifs and Gothic melodies that wouldn’t be out of place in stories told by Argento, Romero, Coscarelli, and Carpenter. There’s even hints of NES’ Castlevania(check out “Devil’s Pepper” for proof) lingering on The Coven.
In just a couple weeks Gary Dimes is releasing the newest All of Them Witches album on an unsuspecting 2018 and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Hunters Moon builds upon the foundation of The Coven and pushes the scope and vibe to new, glorious highs.
The first track to hit you is the eloquent “Copper Bones”. It has a decidedly 80s feel. Something like John Harrison’s excellent Day of the Dead soundtrack, but with an OMD vibe. It’s a lush track covered in layers of synth with an electro rhythm that carries the track along. “It’s Not Cranberry Sauce” is all electro queasiness. Dimes lays it on pretty thick here, and to stunning effect. It really does sound like something from some obscure early 80s slasher. “Hele Bay” is a rock solid techno nightmare. It’s like a mixture of Carpenter stabs with a psychedelic take on Vangelis’ Blade Runner score. With headphones on this one is quite the disorienting number. “Westward Foams” wavers in the air like some ominous omen. It starts out with elements of Charles Bernstein’s A Nightmare On Elm Street score but quickly morphs into its own beast.
All of Them Witches doesn’t leave a single moss-covered rock unturned musically. You stay engaged having a feeling of familiarity, while still knowing this is all new to you. Like wondering if you dreamt what you are hearing years before. Something like “The Arrival” opens with an existential drone that builds into something I’d describe as triumphant. “Triple Stones” has a galactic terror vibe with it’s electro funk rhythm guiding the claustrophobic synths through the dark. “The Otherworld” is beautiful in its vastness and spatial musical landscape. There’s a definite sci fi vibe. It’s very reminiscent of Wojciech Golczewski’s work on his trilogy of space albums(The Signal, Reality Check, and End of Transmission.) These contemplative moments are when All of Them Witches shines. They add a vulnerability to Dimes work, amidst all the psychic terror happening throughout the album. “Silently Stalking” goes nearly full horror disco, bringing to mind something you might’ve heard in an early Abel Ferrara film.
Gary Dimes, aka All of The Witches, pays homage to the scores that musically framed our nightmares in the 70s and 80s, but doesn’t ever merely ape a Carpenter or Argento score. Musically he’s created new nightmares to follow us into sleep. Hunters Moon is an exquisite musical journey into pain and pleasure. It has such sights to show you.
Hunters Moon will be released in March. Follow Burning Witches Records at their website and their Bandcamp page for more information. Check out tracks “Copper Bones” and “The Otherworld” here. Check a teaser video out here.
8.1 out of 10