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Wizard Rifle: Speak Loud Say Nothing

The name "Wizard Rifle" is kind of weird, and the cover artwork of Speak Loud Say Nothing is also kind of weird in a humorous way. And, well, the music of this Portland-based sludge metal duo does have a certain sense of weirdness to it.

We are dealing with a release that definitely is challenging, has a progressive and even avant-garde feel to it, and which also diplays a sense of psychedelia. But Speak Loud Say Nothing is not overtly weird or unbearably avant-garde and, if you are already into sludge metal, it should be listenable, even if you are not really a connoisseur of avant-garde music.

Drawing on sludge metal heaviness and noise rock dissonance, Wizard Rifle explore darker and perhaps more chaotic aspects of the sludge metal universe, and they have quite successfully managed to strike a balance between avant-garde chaotic variation and the power of repetition and minimalism, as most songs contain flurries of riffs that are repeated to the point of the repetition itself starting to feel chaotic, and as soon as that feeling kicks in, they jump into another riff. A track like 'Megatherium' falls somewhere between sludge metal and doom metal with its use of heavy riffs and considerably slow passages, while 'Nobody' and 'Tears Won't Soften Steel' draw more on noise music, and the 10-minutes plus closer 'Leathery Gentlemen' sums up the overall nature of the album quite well, even adding new elements, such as blast beats and some tech thrash too.

In many ways, I think, this release carries on where Mastodon left off after Blood Mountain, so fans of Mastodon's early material might be specifically interested in this release (although we are not dealing with a Mastodon rip-off at all).

As mentioned above, Speak Loud Says Nothing is definitely a challenging listen with lots of progressive and avant-garde elements. Still, I think that it will not exclude people who are fans of sludge metal or noise rock in general and not necessarily fans of avant-garde metal, so if you belong to that group of people, you should check this release out.

Track listing:
1. Tears Won't Soften Steel
2. Frazetta
3. Megatherium
4. Nobody
5. Leathery Gentlemen

Added: February 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Wizard Rifle @ Facebook
Hits: 1842
Language: english

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