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Noisecult: Seraphic Wizard

When I think back to my origins as a metal fan, I specifically remember falling in love with bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest as a kid/teenager. While I have grown to love a lot of modern metal groups, the classics are where I started, and they will always be dear to my heart. Whenever I hear a band inspired directly by them, I usually have a bit of a soft spot. Nashville’s Noisecult pays respect to all these bands, along with others on their 2022 release, Seraphic Wizard. This album is the seventh full length effort by the band, and it was released in January. The album is chock full of sludgy Stoner metal riffs, along with some up-tempo tracks. The band doesn’t break much ground in terms of innovation, but they are relatively entertaining.

The album throws back to the 70’s and early 80’s in its sound. The guitar and bass tones are fuzzy, and the production is powerful and big sounding. Lead singer Mike Liffick has a rough and gravelly voice reminiscent of metal legends Lemmy Kilmister and Paul Di’Anno. Liffick’s voice is not as strong as either singer, and while he adds to some of the songs, I also feel like he takes away from others. Songs like “Psycho Cerebral Manipulation” and “War Eternal” have classic thrash vibes, and an even stronger punk/hardcore sound with the latter. I think these tracks are where Liffick’s voice fits best. “Season of the Dark Witch”, “Running Wild Running Free”, and “Nachthexen” all have definite Iron Maiden similarities. The opening riff of “Season of the Dark Witch” sounds a lot like “Transylvania” off Maiden’s self-titled debut, and other parts of the track sound like Maiden mixed with some sludginess. “Running Wild Running Free” was a direct tribute to Maiden and Judas Priest, hence the title. “Nachthexen” sounds like a perfect mix of the Di’Anno and Dickinson eras. The rest of the songs tend to be quite doomy, with some sounding directly inspired by Sabbath and others having a bit of a Southern Doom vibe. The most Sabbath sounding song is probably, “Forever Nevermore”, which has a main riff that sounds like a variation of “Supernaut” off Vol. 4. Some of my favorite tracks on the album are, “Psycho Cerebral Manipulation”, “Seraphic Wizard”, “War Eternal”, “Running Wild Running Free”, and “Nachthexen”. I wouldn’t say that any of the songs are necessarily bad, but my least favorite track is “The Lords of Eden”. The bass and guitar riffs are cool and Sabbath sounding, but I’m not really into the stripped-down sound of the verses. The chorus is also a bit weak and boring.

Overall, this is an average album. I’m not crazy about it, but after a few listens I’d say I enjoy it a decent amount. My main drawback is Liffick’s voice on some of the tracks. Some his performances work well, but he’s a bit limited in range, and I don’t feel that he fits all the material. I’d also say that while I enjoy the nostalgia of a lot of my favorite bands being tributed, the lack of originality limits how excited I can get, especially when I can go back and hear the original bands do what they’re attempting better. With that being said, there’s some cool riffs on the album, all the band are talented musicians, and there are some really neat songs. If you want an undemanding throwback to a lot of classic metal bands, then this album is for you. If you’re looking for something more, then there’s better bands out there to check out.

Noisecult is:
Don Carr- Guitar and Vocals
Mike Liffick- Lead Vocals
Sean Kay- Bass
Patrick Nickell- Drums

Track Listing:
  1. Psycho Cerebral Manipulation
  2. Forever Nevermore
  3. Seraphic Wizard
  4. Season of the Dark Witch
  5. War Eternal
  6. Feth Fiada
  7. The Lords of Eden
  8. Running Wild Running Free
  9. Nachthexen

Added: April 7th 2022
Reviewer: Ryan Gavalier
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 267
Language: english

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