With a name seemingly pulled from one of those Sleep Lyric Generator memes you see on Facebook (I assume Pterodactyl Bongwater Ascending was taken), it’s not surprising that Temple of the Fuzz Witch takes such a conventional approach to stoner doom. Flashbacks to Electric Wizard and Monolord among others ooze forth from their debut album’s low to the ground grooves and vocals wailing off in the distance. You’ve heard everything this album does before, but the band manages to sound good doing it.
At the very least, the musicianship and production suit the genre incredibly well. The guitar tone is absolutely immaculate, boasting a warm fullness that brings appropriately fuzzy life to the rather stock riff bank while also allowing for smoothly executed trippiness. The other components do what they’re supposed to as the drums are loose yet solid, the bass has the occasionally buzzy contribution, and the vocal distortion is tastefully applied.
The songs are also solidly written and pleasant to listen to, albeit they run together at times due to the never-fluctuating tempo. “Bathsheba” starts things off on a hammering note once you get past the obligatory sample, and “329” offers what may be the most drawn-out riff set. From there, “Infidel” offers a cautious attitude with a melodic sensibility that is best utilized on the bass-heavy “Fuzz Witch.”
Depending on where you stand, Temple of the Fuzz Witch will either be everything wrong with stoner doom today or an enjoyably inoffensive addition to the genre’s extensive library. While the band would certainly benefit from more adventurous songwriting, they string some cool riffs together and the tone mastery really works in their favor. There are better choices out there and I hope to see more exploration in the future, but this is tasty junk food for dank metal purists.