Jex Thoth - Witness CD
Totem, now known as Jex Thoth, play a mesh of reverb-laden stoner metal and hooky traditional doom, with an additional dose of '70s hard rock. This EP is their best offering in my opinion, trumping the Jex Thoth full-length by leaps and bounds. Totemcontains female vocallist Jex and crew's heaviest, most psychedelic, most inspired, and undoubtedly their most sinister material. Everything revolves around primal sludge riffs and the haunting, ethereal singing of one of the best songstresses in metal. Jex Thoth's self-titled is not immune to occassional progressive pitfalls, in which I think the band does not shine, but Totem is far more coherent; it's obvious to me that these three songs have purpose. There's no trace of meandering or plodding along in the songwriting process for the sake of creating something outside the bounds of duration-friendly radio rock, despite the lengthyness of the last track, "Tauti", which is defined not only by memorable vocal lines but a ridiculous seven-minute guitar solo drenched in feedback.