Willow Ash presents their third full-length album, »Hypnagogia«, out now via The Swamp Records
American doom metal band Willow Ash has just released their third full-length album, »Hypnagogia«, on December 4th, 2020 via The Swamp Records.
Willow Ash is a doom metal band from northeastern Vermont. The music is influenced by the harsh seasons, legal weed, and hundreds of microbreweries.
02. A Witch’s Window
03. Doom And Gloom In The Champagne Room
04. La Petite Mort
05. The Left Hand Path
06. Drive To The Moon / Space Thrashed! / Mars In A Classic Car
All music written and performed by Willow Ash, copyright Vermont Dirt Music.
Solos in »Space Thrashed!« and »Boneless« written and performed by Noah Labounty.
Recorded summer 2020 at The White Box, Lyndonville, VT.
Cover art hand drawn and painted by Elizabeth Stathis.
Photography by Nathan Somers.
Mastered by Meeks Audio Houston.
Willow Ash have taken a sudden foray on this long player; entering into a 1970’s inspired world of heavy blues/heavy psych (suited perfectly by the psychedelic cover art piece which was hand drawn and painted by E.A. Stathis) resulting in this bright, almost jangly start to the concept album, slowly degrading as it plays out through it’s 55 minutes and 8 tracks into earthen, sludge filled riffage.
According to Google, Hypnagogia is stated as “The transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. During hypnagogia, it’s common to experience involuntary and imagined experiences. These are referred to as hypnagogic hallucinations.”
The album idea was conceptualized during the summer of 2020 when singer/guitarist Christopher Guest battled the phenomenon off and on for the majority of June and July. “It was awful” Guest is quoted as saying, “the hallucinations are ridiculous, almost silly at times but then they’ll take this dark turn and it’ll all at once become absolutely terrifying. No matter what, there is an immense feeling of fear or stress; like you know something isn’t right but you can’t stop what’s happening.”
The feeling is there from the opening few seconds of the intro which symbolizes the confusion of »Hypnagogia«; the whirlwind of action fought off only by the alarm clock. The feeling of the record as a whole is a fake, manic happiness laid as a thin veil over top an ocean of dark, almost murderous intent, much like a carnival of horrors.
Undeniably their best work so far, amid the myriad of seemingly never ending EPs, singles, and a smattering of LPs released, »Hypnagogia« makes it impossible not to bob your head. The groove starts at »A Witch’s Window« and doesn’t stop unto the hypnotic album closer »Paleo Contact Meditation« fades from view after reaching extraterrestrial nirvana. Guest’s vocals change from song to song, morphing to the aesthetic of each – the garage rock inspired yelp in »A Witch’s Window«, the obviously Ville Vallo inspired goth croon of »Le Petite Mort«, bood curdling bllack metal screams of »Space Thrashed!«, the Al Cisneros inspired drawl of »Boneless« – all come together, coherently spitting out the contents of Guest’s strange and buzzing mind.
Willow Ash is:
Jay Natola – Guitars
Christopher Guest – Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Bojan Bidovc // music enthusiast, promoter, misanthrop and sometimes a journalist as well