Megawitch 'Herbalism'

The cover for Megawitch's debut EP, 'Herbalism'

"Herbalism," the ruthless debut release by Baton Rouge stoner doom-metal band Megawitch, is deeper, darker and dirtier than month-old bong water.

Megawitch, which formed last year, includes vocalist-guitarist Corey Buru, bassist Brandon Schexnayder and drummer William Thomas, seasoned musicians in the Baton Rouge metal scene. The band has been playing shows at DIY spots, like The Woodshop, a lumber warehouse by day and concert venue by night.

Megawitch fully commits to two motifs on the five-track EP: mysticism and marijuana. Each is apparent in the album art and track titles, which include “Bluntwand,” “Wizard of (oz.),” and — my personal favorite — “Buzz Cauldron.” The sound, however, is much more sinister.

"Herbalism" is low-pitched and loaded with thick riffs. A sense of imminent doom infects the project, making you wonder if this is what Hades and his demon buddies jam to in the underworld.

Buru’s vocals and heavy guitar engulf the EP, and his death growl comes off delightfully frightening and anything but human, like a jaguar possessed by the devil. Those vocals, combined with copious amounts of guitar distortion and cymbal crashes, is enough to register on the Richter scale.

To put it lightly, “Herbalism” is intense. Devoted doom disciples are sure to love it. This EP isn’t meant for Sunday brunch — unless you’re having brunch in hell.

"Herbalism" can be found at megawitch.bandcamp.com. And Megawitch will play Baton Rouge Grindfest on Saturday, March 23, at The Woodshop, 1415 Laurel St.