November 15, 2017 Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard (Album Review)
When faced against the cruel test of time finding creative ways to draw out the essence of the past and push it into the future is a true accomplishment. Sending off a strong and unique vibe of Stoner Rock, Doom Metal, and the occult since the early 1990s, England’s Electric Wizard is back at it with their latest album, Wizard Bloody Wizard, on Friday, November 17, 2017 through Spinefarm Records.
A follow-up to 2014’s Time to Die, Wizard Bloody Wizard is their ninth overall studio album and, at only six songs, it bravely as well as boldly encompasses a lifetime’s journey of dark aggression. That said, throughout Electric Wizard’s career, they have experienced seemingly unfair setbacks and member changes, but the current lineup including original Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Jus Oborn along with Guitarist Liz Buckingham, Bassist Clayton Burgess, and Drummer Simon Poole is by far their most solid to date.
Taking after the roots of significant Doom bands such as Black Sabbath and Witchfinder General, Electric Wizard still set their own unique mark on society. The biggest success of Electric Wizard is that their occult and Horror based subject matter is swirled into a strong brew of bluesy based Doom electrified with Stoner beats and echoing vocals, carrying an aggressive punch like no other that tells a timeless tale.
Now, is the subject matter of witchcraft and Horror in Rock a new concept? Absolutely not, and truth be told, Horror and Rock-n-Roll/Heavy Metal have never been a bad combination. Again, no one does it quite the same way Electric Wizard does, and, with their first tune off the new album, “See You In Hell” is nothing short of a very fluid, integral Doom progression. This is done with an arrogance of defeat that breathes through the sonic passageways of the listener until they are completely possessed from its intent.
With conviction, the next track, “Necromania” births its deadly sting while grasping onto the only contaminant it can cherish as a Doom anthem backed by a musty path of shadow-based vocal chants and fired-up beats. Probably the most marketable and catchy of the bunch, the cinematic based fun of Wizard Bloody Wizard is just starting. Breathing down the back of your neck, next comes “Hear The Sirens Scream” pushing out a sharp bluesy aggression and chaotic enchantment into the night sky under a full moon glow.
Moving along, when all turns asunder, “The Reaper” chimes in with his impending doom and soars away just as quickly, yet quietly, as he came in. The shortest track on the album, ranging only a touch over three minutes long, it fills the air with witch chiming overtones. Then, raining at over eleven minutes long, “Mourning Of The Magicians” exemplifies and exasperates the evil essence of the message at hand. It grasps bits and pieces of many a good bluesy doom jam taking from a place even Jimi Hendrix would gladly roll over in his grave for and making for a grand finale to the record.
In enough words, Wizard Bloody Wizard is one of Electric Wizard’s best albums to date. Even though times have changed drastically, the band still capture a vintage sound thrust into an unknown future which works amazingly well as we inch even closer to 2018. For this and a multitude of other reasons, CrypticRock gives Wizard Bloody Wizard a 5 out of 5 stars.