Witch's Oath EP (2016)

by Mindkult

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"Shrouded in mystery, Mindkult emerges like a blackened phantom down a long darkened hallway; the only light warbles out of Fowst’s enchanted voice-box yet is ultimately dimmed by the lo-fi rumbling of bass and guitar. Occasionally there is the twinkle of a shoegazing melody, but what this twenty-five minute release really does is envelope you in a haze of ‘70s hard rock groove incestuously coupled with a proto doom stench many have learned to love again these past few years. As it envelopes you, it captivates you in a catatonic trance which lasts throughout the short running time.

This is not your run-of-the-mill ‘70s worship. Witch’s Oath finds itself sitting on a minimalist fence between the melodic likes of Pallbearer and Spirit Adrift and the rhythmic prowess of Youngblood Supercult. Though it sounds like it has emerged from the bedroom of a master-of-the-DSBM-arts (which may push some away from this), Mindkult does enough to make this EP a good and interesting listen. The riffs are solid, the vocals are hypnotic and the bass rumbles like the death knell we all dread. Echoing from the tomb is the doom malaise of ‘King and Priest’ where the vocals and music really play out the end-days in our hears before ripping through a smooth lead to finish (with some impressive drum sounds to match) before giving away to the rollicking title track; what makes this slab of occult rock a good number is how organic the music flows, negating the existence of any real structure. The final songs, ‘Serpent’s Nest’ and ‘Chief of Devils’, slowly swing back to the doom that which pulses from the opener, getting eerier with each passing minute.

I have so far refused to use the ‘H’ word whilst writing, purely due to denial. [1] There may be some who feel Witch’s Oath would appeal more to that crowd but after several listens it is clear that the EP builds a strong foundation unto which Mindkult will launch further music from (Free Download and the debut full length out in October and December respectively). It is as enigmatic as the band’s entity itself and may interest fans of the aforementioned groups. A short sharp stare into the void of Mindkult…and it stares right back at you."


"This is the debut EP from Mindkult, a one-man doom metal band from the US.

This is fuzzy doom rock with an addictive edge that lures the listener in, seductively, with wily allure.

A large part of this is down to the singer’s voice, which croons with such a confident, dark aura that it’s almost as if you’ve known what he’s saying for your entire life, but you’re only now just awakening to his truth.

Or something.

It’s with no small amount of charisma that he operates, in the shadows, breathing occult atmospheres into the proto-metallic music.

He reminds me of Dax Riggs in some ways, especially when he, (Dax Riggs), indulges his doomier, darker side. Imagine this mixed with a bit of classic Black Sabbath, and you’ll have an idea of Mindkult’s style and impact.

The vocals may be the main stars of the show, but they would be much less effective if the music wasn’t doing its thing too. Said music is ancient-sounding doom metal, primeval and atavistic, shot though with emotive melodies and a hint of Southern rock, once more recalling some of Dax Riggs’ work.

The production is lo-fi, primitive, and perfectly suits the underground, mysterious feeling that shrouds this release like a bad omen."



"Virginian fuzzed out doomsters Mindkult’s debut EP ‘Witch’s Oath’ is out now on Caligari Records and is four tracks of superb, ethereal doom tracks that rumbles along with laid out groove and simply lush vocals. When you hear the maturity of songwriitng here, you’ll be amazed it is a one man project.

Opener ‘King and Priest’ has this awesome swaying groove and a ghostly croon that is immediately infectious, bringing to mind a lighter Electric Wizard. A soulful bluesy solo punctures the fuzz in a stand out moment, as is the gloriously stoner riff that propulses the stomping title track. The Kyuss influence runs deep within Mindkult, but this no mere stoner copycat. The riff melodies are superb, and the creepy groove in ‘Serpent’s Nest’ is something I keep going back to.

Mindkult look to traverse that hazy, desert land armed with riffs of steel and a set of vocals that’ll soothe the fiercest of dust devils. This is music to lay back and appreciate the cosmos to. Closer ‘Chief of Devils’ has the finest riff here, and closes out what will surely rank as one of the best doom releases I’ll review this year."


"Being a one man band must be a quite satisfying affair, I mean you are not gonna have to deal with multiple egos, no need to worry about the drummer emptying the contents of your medicine cabinet down his throat nor that the lead singer is going to be found humping the beejeezus out of your new girlfriend, best of all though is that the direction and sound your music is going to take is entirely your decision to make....no compromising.

Mindkult is the brainchild of American multi-instrumentalist Overlord Faustus, or as he sometimes likes to be known Fowst, and is also the banner under which he has released his debut EP "Witch's Oath" (Caligari Records).

Doom laden but heavily salted with touches of bluesy swagger and moody grunge/alt.rock atmospherics "Witch's Oath" is an album loosely based around a concept of cultism and control. Fowst builds his doomy manifestos around heavily distorted riffage offset with laid back, mellow and slightly shoegaze vocals that when put together give the four songs that make up "Witch's Oath" an eerie, almost hypnotic, feel. From the Sabbathian heavy riffage of "King and Priest" through to the fuzzed doom groove of "Chief of Devils", that closes the EP, there is a feeling that you, the listener, are being led down paths you might not want to go down but are compelled to take owing to the seductive nature of the voices and music playing in your ears. Brilliant, slightly unnerving with a strange mix of the raw and smooth Mindkult's "Witch's Oath" worms its way into the psyche and takes up residence there making sure your life and world will never be the same again."



"What you see above is the cover to Mindkult’s debut EP Witch’s Oath. Witch’s Oath is four total songs that have a run time of about twenty-four minutes, and within those twenty plus minutes is music that is rocking, bluesy, moody and heavy. Mindkult plays a style of doom rock that is utterly captivating and smooth and when listening you tend to get lost in all of this EPs buzzing glory. In each song Mindkult bring you something new and different that you didn’t hear in previous songs and even so what you get from every song is a sound that is wholly mesmerizing and undeniable.

Immediately after you press play you get lost in the bluesy and trippy riffs as well as the hypnotizing vocals. As your mind wanders through the buzzing soundscapes, Mindkult also make you headbang and rock out with intent. With all of the emotion that is pumped into this release, just as much rock and heavy skull numbing fuzz is woven in as well which makes for a heavy and interesting listen. Witch’s Oath is a release that you can listen to over and over again as well as one that gets imprinted in your brain for quite some time to come.

This entire EP was executed by one man and when you listen it will become just that much more impressive to you. Mindkult seemingly has emerged from the smokey depths of nowhere to provide us with smooth buzzing doom sounds that immediately get stuck inside of your noggin. Fawst is the name of the cult leader that is behind this band and he is the one that supplies you with droves and droves of memorable bluesy riffs, solid head nodding drums and vocals that are terrifyingly hypnotizing.

No matter what you do you feel compelled to press play over and over again until the tape wears out. Mindkult has nailed this debut EP and it’s exciting to see where this could go next. Witch’s Oath is a great EP to tide you over until a full length hopefully emerges from the bubbling abyss of hallucinogens. This EP is mind warping goodness that shouldn’t be looked over at all, and if you have skipped it, do yourself a favor and go back to it. Witch’s Oath hits on all cylinders and it gives you a memorable and intoxicating listen that you just can’t stop listening to."



"Mindkult‘s debut EP Witch’s Oath is a four track doom rocker that brings to mind Alice In Chains’ darker and emotional salad days as much as it does the broad stable of artists residing on Riding Easy Records. True, that’s a mouthful and big shoes to fill but Mindkult is more than up to it with this dark, moody collection of songs. Just one listen to these 24 plus minutes and two words come to mind; fantastic and mesmerizing.

Mindkult is a solo project from a man that goes by Fowst. Written and recorded completely in his hands this EP is a wealth of emotive atmosphere, riffs aplenty, a heavy blues feel and some rather fascinating vocals. Even though there’s plenty of artists — that on paper — appear to be of the same ilk, this one is simply a cut above. There’s a certain vulnerability and immediate recognizability in a song such as Mad Season’s “River Of Deceit” — the combination of beautifully sung vocals and heartfelt guitar chords here hit that same mark. It’s bliss and lightning in a bottle all at the same time. Not to mention the fantastic songwriting that shows itself early in opener “King and Priest”, a doomy plod with grunge rock painted all over the walls. Fowst successfully plays with tension and release but favors the former here, building long and slow to the huge payoff at songs center. But it’s his vocals that really hit the sweet spot and elevate this whole affair to another level entirely.

“Serpent’s Nest” is simply some of the best doom leaning desert rock these ears have heard in many years. It’s an expansive listen heavy on recurring riffs and echoed vocals. Fowst has that extremely unique ability to keep you hanging on every word, not wanting each track to end. The highlight here, but not by a large margin, is “Chief Of Devils”. These syrupy blues and soulful yet dark vocals sound like something King Dude, Layne Staley and Black Sabbath cooked up in some candlelit green room in hell. It’s an ensemble of slow burn doom/blues that all tug on that part of the brain needing a fix of something soulful and evil.

Truly, enough good words cannot be said about Mindkult’s maiden EP Witch’s Oath. From doom to stoner, and even a touch of alternative, Fowst, by himself is compelling. But as a complete package Mindkult hits all the right notes and provides us with a glimpse into what will hopefully be a sooner rather than later full length. For now, this EP is a satisfying and very addictive first chance to experience this band on the ground floor. Caligari Records have hit another home run and has found yet another artist absolutely worth your time to check out."



" Coming up with any sort of new music in today’s world where it seems that near everything that can be done has been done, but that doesn’t stop bands like Mindkult from diving head first in and giving it their all. If more bands would be able to pump out albums like “Witch’s Oath” then it’d be very common outside of people like us who constantly seek out new talent that albums like this would blow up instantly because of how interesting the material is. The scant four tracks off this debut EP demonstrate what can still be done with doom metal as Mindkult take things slightly into psychedelic territory to create this sensation that while other bands have truly mastered on other, greater levels, Mindkult definitely makes its voice heard and shows that it’s nothing to be scoffed at. While there are some things that I personally think could’ve been done better (namely the mastering and mixing unless that was intentional in which case ignore the man typing nonsense), but in the end it is really hard to call “Witch’s Oath” anything less of fucking well done. From the not so intense vocals to the weird, off putting atmosphere that surrounds every second of the album, Mindkult has created a sound that is by no means new, but it is still definitely something to behold should you be any sort of a fan of doom. This is just simply one of those records that you hear and it’s hard to resist listening to unless you’re just that fucking stubborn, and upon listening you can’t help but realize how much potential Mindkult displays with “Witch’s Oath” alone and how much you want to hear a follow up."



"...If I were to recommend you a fresh new and fabulously dark doom album that is sure to grasp your entire being into an excellent experience, I’d have no choice but to at least mention “Witch’s Oath”. Mindkult has proven with a mere four tracks alone that he knows exactly what he’s fucking doing and that his special brand of doom metal is nothing to scoff at."



"Enter Mindkult. So far as I can tell, Witch’s Oath is the debut offering from the Virginia-based outfit, a 25-minute four-songer with a heart geared toward analog-grain horrors and distorted riffs to accompany. The reason I say “so far as I can tell” is because there isn’t a lot to go on when it comes to Mindkult. In the tradition of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ beginnings — and the songs on Witch’s Oath work in that tradition as well — Mindkult‘s sole inhabitant, who goes by Fowst, has kept much a secret going into this first release, presumably to add a sense of mystique.

A search on Monticello Studios, where the EP was reportedly recorded, likewise yields little result, but I’d be surprised if by the time Fowst gets around to following up Witch’s Oath — which is being pressed to CD and tape by Caligari Records — there isn’t more public info available, since the one-man band tap into modern cultish swing and sound natural and full doing so, like a complete band. Which I suppose it is if it sounds that way. Whether or not Fowst recorded “King and Priest,” “Witch’s Oath,” “Serpent’s Nest” and the crawling closer “Chief of Devils” himself is my most pressing question, since being so utterly self-contained could play heavily into the trajectory of the project, but I take it as a sign of the positive impression these cuts leave that one might be tempted to think about the future in the first place. Mindkult, though I won’t say much for the moniker, could most definitely have a future.

To call the project insular seems fair, and while I obviously don’t know Fowst‘s background musically, the signs showed here of having such a clear aesthetic foundation for Mindkult would seem to hint toward past experience in one kind of band or another, though confirmation on that is nil. Could be that dude is 19, has never put anything out before and just happened to nail it — one scenario is as likely as the other. The important thing is he did nail it. Opting to actively depart from the blueprint of the aforementioned Uncle Acid in the vocals becomes a major factor in Witch’s Oath‘s success.

Whether it’s on the rolling opener and longest track (immediate points) “King and Priest” or the more uptempo and swinging title-track that follows, Fowst keeps a calm, morose pout, almost shoegazing, in his voice, which is forward in the chorus of the leadoff, but almost buried in “Witch’s Oath,” which seems to run in an attempt to catch up with its winding guitar line during the chorus, setting up a depth in the mix that doesn’t undercut the rawer garage doom vibe in the sound but makes the EP a richer listening experience overall. As side one of a tape, there’s little more one could ask of “King and Priest” or “Witch’s Oath” in establishing the groove and the palette with which Fowst will work on the complementary two tracks, and the leads at the end of “King and Priest” follow a bluesy but plotted course that speak to an underlying consciousness at work, buzzing into the shuffle of “Witch’s Oath” with fluidity bolstered by the haziness of the guitar and bass tones, though as ever, it’s the drums — or drum programming; could go either way — that ties everything here together.

Side two essentially reinforces what Mindkult had on offer in the first two songs, but builds on it as well, as “Serpent’s Nest” finds middle ground between “King and Priest” and “Witch’s Oath” in terms of tempo while blowing out the EP’s best riff and hitting on a balance of obscure vocals and bright-toned lead guitar that one can only hope will become a building block for Fowst going forward. “Serpent’s Nest” saunters to its finish and “Chief of Devils” chugs in soon after, not quite on the beat but not far off it. It’s a quick start to a slow march. Like the opener, the closer tops seven minutes and much of the time difference between it and the 4:44 “Serpent’s Nest” could likely be attributed to pacing. Not a complaint.

Fowst peppers in layers of leads amid the central forward rhythm and his downer vocals, taking a particularly engaging solo toward the end of the first half of the track before the guitar rings out in the second’s verses as the starting point of the EP’s last push. The tempo picks up a bit at the end — a change to ping ride is the marker — and cuts out suddenly like they ran out of tape, which of course may or may not be exactly what happened depending on the circumstances of the recording, though it sounds more purposeful than not. Whatever Fowst‘s real name, whoever produced the album, whatever bands he or they’ve worked with before, it’s the songwriting coming through most of all on Witch’s Oath and the sense of stylistic accomplishment that songwriting showcases. It’s early in Mindkult‘s tenure to make a guess as to directions the band might go, but this initial EP makes a compelling argument in favor of finding out."



"This first song is an exception to our Rule — there are no harsh vocals in it at all, and I thought the clean vocals were quite appealing. They remind me of someone I’ve heard before, but I’ve had trouble placing the resemblance. Yet what really hooked me about the song is the guitar performance; it’s essentially one long, terrifically good guitar solo anchored by a couple of compelling central riffs.

I know nothing about who’s behind this band and learned of the song only through a Facebook link by Caligari Records, which apparently intends to release a Mindkult EP or album. But whoever is behind “Witch’s Oath” includes a guitarist whose soloing is both soulful and trippy and a drummer who’s not flashy but knows how to get heads moving. The coating of fuzzy distortion on the guitars and bass is also a welcome touch. Get ready to rock the fuck out."



"As is usually the case when it comes to cults say, like Charles Manson’s of Jim Jones’, Virginia’s Mindkult are the primary vehicle of one man evidently and he goes by the name Fowst. There really is not a lot of info about much else but I guess the who is not really as important as the ‘what’ is now, in this case as the what is the 4-song “Witch’s Oath” EP debut. There are a plethora of influences and stylistic embellishments in these four tracks but for convenience’s sake let’s hit the most important ones with saying garage-y, shoegaze-like Ambient Psyche Rock with touches of Doom fits here nicely. The songs, “King And Priest“, “Witch’s Oath“, “Serpent’s Nest“, and “Chief Of Devils” are benefited with a very organic, natural sound are a promising starting point for this project/band. Things are quite laid back musically with the subtle lo-fi approach and the downer vocalizations but the fuzz-laden mystique is never lost on this recording. There are varied, winding tempo changes and some really cool guitar playing utilizing myriad effects providing hazy tones and some tasty lysergic-like qualities. Things are always moving, albeit with a slower pace a lot of times, with nice grooves and buzzing rhythms and even more good news, you can stream the entire effort below here and now while it is being prepped for release soon on CD and Cassette via Caligari Records."



"Mindkult came out of nowhere, as most these bands do nowadays and hammers us with a brooding stoner/doom EP called Witch’s Oath. Also still hanging out in my wishlist, Mindkult are bound to adhere to fans of classic doom and melodic stoner metal with its building riffs, clean vocals, and overall sonic landscape of head banging distortion. They have tapes for sale. Get em while they’re hot. Aptly priced at $6.66. Oh and did I say, this is the work of just one dude? Holy fuck, well done sire, well fucking done!!"



"Released through Caligari Records the Witch’s Oath EP by the mysterious Mindkult is stirring up quite some racket. Not just because of the mystery surrounding this new one man (apparently) outfit but mostly because of the lo-fi grimy yet absolute pristine quality. Once again we are treated to something hallucinatory and mesmerizing. Like that first release of Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats. Making you dream once again of all those sinful properties of man. And yes, the vintage spilling of blood…"



"If you dig fuzzy doom sounds, you seriously ought to check out the first EP of Mindkult. As the band describe themself as Doom Rock, the riffs and atmosphere created here are something that go beyond that. Expect lots of mysterious grooves, lo-fi vocals and lots of Sabbath worship, coming from this great one-man band."



"The beautiful almost androgynous voice starts singing the song of the Devil, with a melody enclosed in a very bright veil. The veil of light opens up just to show a spark of pure darkness. The downtuned catchy riffing balances this almost sweetness into a dream where Hell tastes better than just ashes and fire. Doom metal in the vein of the classics and the rock solos engaging into a mystic alluring reality. Damn, don't you dare to skip this one. Favorite track: King and Priest."



"Mindkult are a solo project from Virginia that plays a mixture of doom metal and stoner rock with some doomgaze elements and this is a review of his 2016 ep "Witch's oath" which was released by Caligari Records.

A very hard and heavy guitar sound starts off the ep along with some clean singing vocals a few seconds later and you can also hear all of the musical instruments that are present on the recording and a couple of the tracks are very long and epic in length and the riffs also bring in a decent amount of melody.

There are also plenty of 70's influences throughout the recording while the music still sounds very modern and the solos and leads also bring in elements of retro and stoner rock and some of the tracks also bring in a great mixture of slow and mid paced parts along with some shoegaze and alternative influences being brought into certain sections of the recording.

Mindkult plays a musical style that is very heavily rooted in t he 70's style of doom metal while also mixing in stoner, alternative and shoegaze elements which also makes the music stand out a little bit more, the production sounds very old school while the lyrics cover Occultism and Witchcraft themes.

In my opinion Mindkult are a very great sounding mixture of stoner and doom metal and if you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this solo project. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Witch's Oath" and "Chief of Devils". 8 out of 10."



"Checking out some requests that flew under my radar last month, this one instantly amazed me. Witch's Oath, Mindkult's debut EP is the solo effort of a talented musician known as Fowst. Which makes it even more amazing. This is some heavy psyched out vintage doom, made somewhere in Virginia, USA. Where exactly? I don't know, there is some mystery behind Fowst.

Mindkult's debut is a seamless combination of the old and new. It combines heavy doom riffs with the mellower, atmospheric soundscapes of shoegaze; and surprisingly clean vocals. Melancholic yet energetic and melodic. Still, Fowst managed to create a different sound on every song. As I mentioned, the whole album is performed by one person: guitars, bass, drums, and vocals - all Fowst. The heavy guitars produce a thick wall of sound and the background music is also very good. The sound quality on the album is not particularly amazing for what it could have been. But I really like the raw, lo-fi sound. I think it gives some character to all of it. Its like it was recorded in a garage type atmosphere.

This is another great doom project from the underground that cannot be missed. As far as debuts go, this one is a good starting point. I'm curious what Fowst has in store for us in the future. Now let the music do the talking, just check this album out. You should not be disappointed."



"I insist on saying that Caligari Records is becoming one of my head labels. It is not that everything that comes through that seal is a wonder, much less. But they have made really fabulous albums, and others that are not so much, but that allow to verify that the seal has a well defined identity, that do not take to the street any rubbish. It is evident, at least for me, that this is a seal that selects very well what kind of material to edit.

Mindkult is not what I liked most of the catalog of this label, but it has a particular charm. Singular and dark, as well as outdated, but in an attractive way. It is that many, but many, Of the bands that carry the vintage label on them, do not transmit absolutely nothing because they are dedicated to waste time in the accessory, neglecting the essential: music. That's why I usually flee to the revival of bands that choose the heavy sound of the late 60's, bluesy type rhythms and aesthetics and attitude Altamont type. However, there are exceptions like Mindkult, a project that is far from being a wonder, but sounds more than good.

He's labeled Doom Metal, and some of that is, to tell you the truth. But is it a 100% Doom Metal band? Well, Mindkult is basically heavy Blues, just like they did Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath or even Cream. To these bands I do not consider them Doom Metal, Beyond having a strong and clear relation with that style (especially Black Sabbath). I prefer to use labels that correspond to those of those years where Metal was being born, and I even prefer to talk about Rock before Doom. But, do not discard that label completely. As I said, some of that is.

By the way, Mindkult is a one man band, which we can identify as Fowst, responsible for what is heard here on the 4 tracks that make up the EP. An EP that inevitably sends me to the fateful Altamont festival, which makes me think of Hell's Angels, Charles Manson and his clan, and the dark side of the second half of the 60's, the dark side of Flower Power, which Almost collapsed the dream of love and peace. The crunchy and dirty (as well as old-fashioned) sound of the guitar sets the tone for what Mindkult is: Rock dirty, heavy (in the style of the 60's, clear) and evil.

The timid voice of Fowst brings a different touch, although it restores strength to the music itself; A more aggressive voice would have boosted the more visceral side of Mindkult, but hey, his voice is like that (a little weak, but in tune with a lot of hanging ) and ready.
As a composer, he is not a virtuoso, but he shows that he has learned the lesson. This can be seen in the best piece of the album: "Chief of Devils", the song that synthesizes the best of his creativity in just over 7 minutes. Of course, to "Witch's Oath" you have to listen to it whole (they are only 4 tracks), with one pull, And with the mind focused on what Fowst wants to tell us. I did that and I could find the good side to the record. In fact, it's a pretty nice record. Although, honestly, I think this American can give more. Either way, he defends himself with his own weapons, and does it well."



released July 22, 2016

All songs written and produced by MINDKULT, the sole creation of Fowst. Recorded at Monticello Studios in 2016. Art/Design by Elias Kontogiannis (www.surrealsoreal.com). Caligari Records.



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"...What at first appears as catchy, fuzzed-out doomgaze reveals itself over a series of repeated listens to be truly sinister and subversive: the alluring voice of a suicide cult leader. A man who sings the people’s blues, but for damnation’s sake. Call it Witch’s Oath, Mindkult's first opus."
- Caligari Records
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Track Name: King and Priest
Liner notes included with album download.
Track Name: Witch's Oath
Liner notes included with album download.
Track Name: Serpent's Nest
Liner notes included with album download.
Track Name: Chief of Devils
Liner notes included with album download.