Stonewitch are a French band, inspired by both doom metal and the whole NWOBHM scene, and that might be where the confusion started in the first place. When they're talking doom, they're talking Candlemass, Cathedral, Black Sabbath and Saint-Vitus but combined with (early days) Iron Maiden and, indeed, Danzig, the whole thing gets another dimension. What Stonewitch do with these influences is actually quite interesting. They take me way back in time, back to a time when "metal" wasn't even a term yet, let out "NWOBHM" or "doom".
Listening to opener 'Eerie Valley of the Crimson Planet' I wasn't sure yet, but as soon as 'Beyond the Sharp Vine' started, it became clear to me. This is heavy blues, a term that was invented way before Black Sabbath became popular. This is a massive throw-back in time, one laced with strong guitars and great grooves. Gradually, the album grows, highlighting in the energetic stoner doom track 'Holy Smoke'. I also like the groovy rocker 'The Sign Of The Wolf', which sounds more Manowar than Candlemass but who cares.
In all, this still is a weird album but definitely not a bad one. It is brand new but sounds like it's forty years old and that's something that rarely happens these days. Apart from that, I do think that these songs will do better during live performances. And that's where doom metal needs to shine, shock and awe. You need to feel doom, not just hear it. On this album and on many others too, that feeling takes time but on stage, this music certainly has potential. So check it out, and try to catch these guys live when they play anywhere near you.