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Electric Wizard: Black Masses

Turn Off Your Mind...

As a person that's never tried drugs in his entire life, one may suspect that I'm missing out on a key aspect of Black Masses. This is one of the trippiest albums I've ever heard, with guitar sounds that are dirty enough to pass from the late 1960's and doomy, sludgy riffs galore. Black Masses is repetitive, monotonous, and has very little variation, but fans of Electric Wizard should expect that by now. When it boils down to my own personal enjoyment, I find my mind wandering after the first couple of songs, and (unfortunately) it seldom returns. This isn't an album for people who like their music to be clean, precise, or emotional - this is rock n' roll in its dirtiest, filthiest, and most unpolished form. People who enjoy Electric Wizard's brand of doom metal should find themselves thoroughly enjoying Black Masses - I'm not sure that I've been totally convinced, though.

The music here is raw, old school doom metal in the vein of Black Sabbath, or even some 60's psych-rock acts. While this sounds like a good concept, the compositions are surprisingly dull and variation is kept to a minimum. While I obviously wasn't expecting any ballads here, every song is based off of a sludgy riff which, in some cases, sounds eerily similar to one another. Picking one song out of the crowd is a difficult task, especially when one considers the ridiculously long playing time. For an album with very little distinction between tracks, a 60 minute playing time is just tedious. There are a few moments here and there that grab my attention, but they are too few and far between to warrant such a running length. The positives here mainly lie in the quality of the musicianship and the retro-sounding production values. Although the production is definitely an acquired taste, it fits the music well and is an instant transporter back to 1969. The drums sound especially excellent as a result of the somewhat muddy production.


Black Masses should please fans of Electric Wizard, though my personal enjoyment is very limited. People who like old school doom metal and are okay with an extremely repetitive listen should like this album a fair amount. Rating an album like this is difficult, but for now I'll go with 2.5 stars. Although I wouldn't recommend Black Masses to many people I know, there's a market out there that would tremendously enjoy this type of album. As far as my money is concerned, I'll turn elsewhere.

Track Listing
1. Black Masses
2. Venus In Furs
3. Night Child
4. Patterns Of Evil
5. Satyr IX
6. Turn Off Your Mind
7. Scorpio Curse
8. Crypt Of Drugula

Added: January 25th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Electric Wizard Myspace
Hits: 2016
Language: english

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