I can’t decide if Black Math Horseman truly glides along the oaken warp in the coffin of Doom, or if they just wanted to sound kinda like Witch so they could get signed to Tee Pee. Certainly they have all the trappings of a dyed-in-the-wolf Invaders comp band: the word “Black” in their name, tons of echo on the vocals, big bold tom-tom beats, songs built around the first three notes on Black Sabbath, and vaguely Arapaho-sounding references in the stuff they talk about: horses, deer slaying, songs about birds. But they got my attention with a couple things. The first is their singer. I’m a sucker for alto female vocalists, going back to Judy Henske, Grace Slick, Linda Ronstadt, and the chick from We Five, and though Sera Timms doesn’t sound much like any of them, the depth of her voice gives her a world-weary, androgynous power that is the inverse of the male falsetto. What Grace Jones was to Marc Bolan, Sera Timms is to Geddy Lee. The second thing is Ian Barry’s guitar picking, which isn’t afraid to go a bit post-Syd Pink Floyd. Right when these guys are getting a little sludge-by-numbers and moving into some serious Tool territory, Barry lifts them out with shimmering brightness, the kind the Hoodoo Gurus used back in the day. This is an album to listen to in the dark, and to listen to LOUD. By the time you get to the last track, and Timms starts screaming like Cronos from Venom, you’ll realize that while these guys are playing their cards a bit close on their first release, they’ll probably be doing some really original and evil stuff in the years to come.