Posts Tagged ‘Electric Wizard’

Electric Wizard are one of my favourite bands. Ever. Their unfuckwithable ethos of weed, tits and Satan had me following since ‘Dopethrone’, and each new release they refine and perfect their particular brand of classic doom. ‘Wizard Bloody Wizard’ is a little different however, and we may be seeing a new monster stride from the smoky darkness of the Wizard’s lair.

I suppose the hardest thing for Jus Osborn and crew is how to improve on their classic records. In the case of ‘Wizard Bloody Wizard’, the band start to come out of the haze a little more. The howling leads, groaning Sabbathian riffs and hypotising wail are all still as iconic as ever, but in the likes of opener ‘See You in Hell’ and the grinding ‘Wicked Caresses’ seems to have less fuzz, and more clarity. The infectious groove of ‘Necromania’ has a very 70s psychedelic rock feel, and the whole album has a very, dare I say, upbeat feeling about it. Gone is the aching, crawling doom of ‘Let Us Prey’ or my own personal favourite, the occult fuzzing ‘Witchcult Today’.

In its place, ‘Wizard Bloody Wizard’ has found Electric Wizard in almost evolutionary mode; having defined almost every part of what a doom record should be in the modern era, they’ve decided to embrace their love of Sabbath and psychedelica even more openly. The mesmerising, cyclical ‘Hear the Sirens Scream’ draws you in, and by the time the rumbling closer ‘Mourning of the Magicians comes to a crashing end, you’ll be left satisfied and ready for more. Sure it’ll never be ‘Dopethrone’, but who wants to repeat past glories when new horizons offer tantalising new magicks?

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Tomorrow night on the Killchain Hour at Live Funeral Radio, I’ve decided to do something a little different from normal. As you all know, the Killchain has always been about the riff. In search of the most headcaving riffs carved from stone and powered by the thunder of the earth. So I’ve decided to dedicate tomorrow’s show to the masters of the riff, Electric Wizard.

If ever you need a riff born of the void, capable of turning planets into dust with its crushing power, you need Jus Osborn and the Wizard in your life. I can’t think of a band that encapsulates what the Killchain is about more than this. I scoured out my eight favourite Electric Wizard songs and present them to you, the listening public, as the Killchain Hour. Prepare to be slowly crushed to death by the force of the void. May we all reside in Funeralopolis…

1. Return Trip

2. Legalise Drugs and Murder

3. Stone Magnet

4. The Nightchild

5. The Outsider

6. Dunwich

7. Funeral of Your Mind

8. Funeralopolis

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Now my previous lists have been specific to genre, but this is my ultimate top 20 of the year. It’ll include some records that you won’t have seen in previous ones as, for example, I only really heard two good power metal records this year, so I can’t really make a list from it. Also, where do you categorise certain bands, like Triptykon, who cover a wide spread of genres? Anyhow, my top favourites of the year are as follows:

20. Killer Be Killed – S/T – A supergroup that combines equal parts of their bands to create awesome

19. Grand Magus – Triumph and Power – Riffs of stone and hooks of great magnitude, the title track alone is one of my favourite songs of the year.

18. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity – Another record of spellbinding black metal from England’s finest. Windswept and vast

17. Edguy – Space Police – Catchy as hell and stupidly anthemic, Tobias and the squad bring some RAWK to their power metal greatness

16. Electric Wizard – Time to Die – A suffocating, occult riddled drag down doom alley. Evil and heavy as fuck

15. Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun – A big improvement over The Hunter and Mastodon’s prog doom trip extends further

14. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare – A follow up to ‘Ordo Ad Chao’ was always going to be difficult, but the True Mayhem brought out another stormer

13. At the Gates – At War With Reality – Thank fuck we finally have the follow up to ‘Slaughter of the Soul’. They put all copycats to shame.

12. EyeHateGod – EyeHateGod – NOLA sludge titans send Joey LaCaze off with one of their most superlative records yet. Angry, harsh and utterly devastating

11. Decapitated – Blood Mantra – Poland’s finest sons of death continue their streak of blinding records with yet another punishing exercise in tech death

10. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum – Nasty, abrasive and skullfuckingly epic in parts, Anaal do things their way, and better than most

9. Inter Arma – The Cavern – A Spellbinding 45 minute trip through the mind of one of post metal and doom’s brightest sparks. Wonderful

8. Hour of Penance – Regicide – Always brutal and relentless, I’ve grown fonder and fonder of this record the longer the year has gone on. Death to all!

7. Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall – Nasty, lurching death metal chaos, belching death and pestilence to all

6. Whalerider – Thanatos – A surprise late entry, and its been on constant rotation. A stormingly good rock record with doses of psych doom weirdness too

5. Panopticon – Road to the North – Soaring and scorching black metal, vast and hypnotic. Epic black metal is the theme this year, and its great

4. Sabaton – Heroes – I fucking love this band. No one writes more anthemic metal tunes than this. Fantastic record and catchy as hell

3. Mount Salem – Endless – A starkly beautiful trad doom record with perfect vocals and atmosphere. The fact it is third on my list is testament to its quality

2. Behemoth – The Satanist – The rebirth of a legend and a triumphant return. Any other year this would’ve been the best by a country mile

1. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata – Nothing could beat the pure misanthropy, despair and heaviness wrought from Tom G Warrior. A simply monumental release

I’m getting a holiday next week for the first time in, um, 2 years. Fuck, that long? Urgh. Anyway, my wonderful lady and I are jetting off to the least kvlt place I can think of; Menorca. Quiet, Mediterranean weather and hopefully some quality beer and relaxation time. But, a man has got to have a playlist to crank when he needs a riff. So I’ve made my ultimate SUN playlist. Hint, all the songs have Sun in the title. Yeah, it’s three a.m, cut me some slack.

1. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

2. Wintersun – Beyond the Dark Sun

3. Suffocation – Despise the Sun

4. Electric Wizard – The Sun Has Turned to Black

5. Boris – Flower Sun Rain

6. Nightrage – The Glow of the Setting Sun

7. Animals – House of the Rising Sun

8. Nightwish – Sleeping Sun

9. My Dying Bride – Like Gods of the Sun

10. Devin Townsend – Sunshine and Happiness

11. Dio – Sunset Superman

12. Windhand – Winter Sun

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Certain bands out there make me drop EVERYTHING to hear something new by them. But few come close to the mighty Electric Wizard. Having written about 10 of my favourite metal songs ever, anything new is welcome. Especially after a four year wait since ‘Black Masses’. But it was worth it. ‘I Am Nothing’ is a grinding, psychedelic trip into the dark. It has everything you want in an Electric Wizard song; the rumbling, hypnotising groove that’s a mile wide. The crushing heavy that flattens you into your chair. Shamanic vocals preaching the message of DOOOOOM! If the rest of the album is as good as this, then Mount Salem may have finally found a rival for my album of the year…

WORSHIP THE FUCKING RIFF

Do I even need to tell you what riff I’m on about? Electric Wizard, who have written riffs heavy enough to crack planets and sink continents, may never top this one. The titan main riff to the opening track of ‘Come My Fanatics’ is staggering in more ways than one. The simplicity of it is probably its greatest attribute, a slow motion dirge that evokes the end of the world, buildings falling into choking dust. It’s the Wizard’s finest riff, and it encompasses everything that is essential about the band and their sound. It’s huge, fuzzy and pure doom menace.

It may not be my favourite Wizard riff, that honour probably goes to ‘The Nightchild’ from 2010’s ‘Black Masses’, but ‘Return Trip’ is probably the most iconic, and the most representative of what Electric Wizard are. I once requested this in a rock bar in Glasgow, and watched as everyone sat and thought ‘what the fuck is this?’ Except for me, and one young lad who ran up to me and said, ‘Dude, what is this, its fucking awesome?’ ‘This is Electric Wizard son’ I replied, ‘and you should seek out more’