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Were I in the business of matching metal genres with weather conditions, I'd liken doom metal to a grey, rain-soaked day: dismal and depressing, though the preferred climate for some. In contrast, Mountain Witch's new full-length Extinct Cults is a study in the opposite: it captures the warm, sunny heaviness of proto-metal's early doom-like offerings, but the showers have come and gone, leaving a dewy mysticality behind. For fans of Witchfinder General, Trouble, and (of course) Black Sabbath, here's proof that doom doesn't always need gloom to hit the mark -- stream Extinct Cults in full below.

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This album isn't a major change-up for the band as none of the riffing from their previous efforts has gone away. The thump and rattle of the low-end remains consistently earth-shaking, and the subject matter still retains the band's mixture of occult fixation and tongue-in-cheek humor (see: "The Devil, Probably!"). Still, it's undeniably bright and refreshing, with heady fuzz streaming from a burbling spring. A few new elements present themselves as well, like synthy organ adding sweeping ambience (and the only hint of post-1972 instrumentation) to the bouncy swaggering grooves. Even the vocals are more daring and varied than on their last album.

Balmy and dynamic, Extinct Cults displays the exuberance and downright righteousness of that "early doom" sound like precious little else, all without dabbling in camp or shtick. There's more than a few ways to get your fill of soul-crushing doom these days, but when it comes to the joyously badass stuff, Mountain Witch may be your best bet.

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Extinct Cults releases May 29th via This Charming Man Records.

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