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Electric Wizard: Time to Die

The name Electric Wizard should be well familiar to any doom fan who has followed the genre over the last 20 years. This UK four piece (Justin Oborn-guitars/vocals, Liz Buckingham-guitar, Clayton Burgess-bass, and Simon Poole-drums) have released a slew of very heavy albums over the years, and their latest mind crusher for Spinefarm Records is titled Time to Die. Their brand of Black Sabbath-meets-Saint Vitus-meets-Blue Cheer-meets-The Stooges-meets-Hawkwind stoner/doom/psychedelic metal is as powerful as ever here, as evidenced by these nine behemoth examples of riff heaven.

Opener "Incense for the Damned" sets the stage, as massive, fuzz soaked guitar & bass riffs just melt your mind, with Oborn's reverb laden vocals and trippy effects adding the right touch of psych elements to their heavy attack. "Time to Die" is just absolutely crushing, as the booming dinosaur riffing is supported by ominous Mellotron strains, wah-wah lead guitar, and tortured vocals...unreal stuff. The band enters lethal sludge realm on the plodding "I Am Nothing", a real psych/doom nightmare that is like a marriage between Saint Vitus and Hawkwind. Probably a bit too long for its own good at nearly 12-minutes, but still effective. "Destroy Those Who Love God" is the first instance of filler on the album, leading into the monstrous "Funeral of Your Mind", a bruising example of wah-wah drenched doom riffing. "We Love the Dead" slows things down to a crawl, as waves of feedback & fuzz set the tone for post apocalyptic visuals. It's a nightmarish piece, but again, probably a bit on the longish side. "SadioWitch" rumbles along like vintage Black Sabbath, and is probably one of the catchiest tracks though certainly massively heavy at the same time. That creepy Mellotron comes back on the chilling "Lucifer's Slaves", another plodding, doomy gem just drenched in fuzz riffs. Man, this one is so heavy it will give you chills. The brief synth & bass dominated piece "Saturn Dethroned" finishes up the album in semi-tranquil fashion.

I can't stress enough just how HEAVY this album is. Sure, a few tracks drag on a little longer than they probably need to, but there's no denying the crushing power that is contained throughout the album. If you love classic doom, you need to get this immediately.

Track Listing
1) Incense for the Damned
2) Time to Die
3) I am Nothing
4) Destroy Those Who Love God
5) Funeral of Your Mind
6) We Love the Dead
7) SadioWitch
8) Lucifer's Slave
9) Saturn Dethroned

Added: August 20th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1587
Language: english

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Electric Wizard: Time to Die
Posted by Carl Sederholm, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-10-04 10:54:01
My Score:

It seems fairly common for reviewers to describe Electric Wizard's music as "eldritch" or "Lovecraftian." The terms are appropriate. Electric Wizard has long attempted to draw on the kind of cosmic spaces made popular by the American author H. P. Lovecraft. If the terms are somewhat imprecise, it's really a function of our own inability to grasp how vast Lovecraft's spaces really are. He was an author entirely committed to reducing the status of humankind, making each one of us small while the universe loomed ever larger.

The new Electric Wizard album works hard to create some rather unusual spaces itself. One of the repeated motifs for this album comes from sound clips concerning young people dabbling in drugs and devil worship. The purpose of these clips, I think, is to establish dark spaces, the kind where stability is questioned and human motives become hard to pin down. Doom metal like this thrives in such places. The vocals in particular work hard to establish an uncanny sound.

On the whole, the album is very strong. The riffs are heavy and dark, soaked, as it were, in grit and grime. The vocals, as I mentioned, are strange and uncanny, filtered through effects that make them seem distant and frightening. As I listened, I was especially drawn to the heaviness of tracks like "I Am Nothing." I also really enjoyed the second half of the album, especially tracks like "We Love the Dead" and "Lucifer's Slaves." Whatever Time to Die means, let's hope it doesn't hint at an end for this awesome band. Bottom line: this album is fresh and exciting, a worthy addition to an already doom-laden catalogue.

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