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Old Man Wizard: Blame It All On Sorcery

You know how that Ghost aren’t really heavy metal? Well Old Man Wizard aren’t really stoner doom in exactly the same way. With a propensity for sweet vocal melodies and riffs that jangle rather than crunch, there are even times that things on Blame It All On Sorcery veer close to folk. But just as you are getting your sweater and pipe ready so you can sit in front of the fire and while away the hours, so a dastardly chug of guitars hits like a bolt out of the blue. Mighty, majestic and, well, still a little polite; that’s track two, “Sorcerer”, a set play that often threatens to break out into a viscous stab of metal but never actually does.

However that’s the calculation being made here. The intention isn’t to bludgeon, it’s to cajole, to caress and to soothe, but still with a dark heart and no little intent. In the same way that Ghost make their sweet nothings somehow spooky, eerie and threatening, so Old Man Wizard make their considered attack one that still somehow knows how to unsettle before hitting deep. Possibly only Blue Öyster Cult, Mercyful Fate and, yes, Ghost, know how to cause such an earthshaking impact without ever really putting the foot down or howling to the moon. Old Man Wizard take a different starting point from those other bands however, the doom infested stance they prefer the core of “The Blind Prince” and “Cosmo”, of which the latter does admittedly push just ever so slightly harder than what has come before.

With clever little asides, such as the acoustic guitar and voice of “Somehow” subtlety able to alter the mood and tone of what’s on offer, it’s left to “Innocent Hands” to finally pull out the stops and kick out the jams, a ferocity ��" albeit a controlled one ��" brought into play via the burrowing guitars and pummel of drums. Although it may just be the closing “The Long-Nosed Wiseman”, which runs to ten-minutes plus, that decides to show what happens when Old Man Wizard really go for the throat. Thankfully it’s equally as rewarding as the more consistent and considered approach elsewhere.

There are few bands who can almost pretend to be much more forceful than they really are, allowing a more hook inspired and catchy path to be laid as they take us towards the gates of heavy metal, without ever quite bringing down the drawbridge and welcoming us in. It’s a hugely impressive tool when deployed correctly and that’s exactly what happens here. Old Man Wizard don’t pound and thump, they don’t need to, instead a more hypnotic approach is slowly revealed and proves thoroughly irresistible.

Track Listing
1. Beginnings and Happenstance
2. Sorcerer
3. The Blind Prince
4. Never Leave
5. Cosmo
6. Somehow
7. Innocent Hands
8. Last Ride of the Ancients
9. The Vision
10. The Long-Nosed Wiseman

Added: May 13th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Blame It All On Sorcery at bandcamp
Hits: 722
Language: english

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