Electric Wizard

Dorset’s doom rebels go beyond the edge of resin

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From misanthropy through psychedelia to the sense-saturating drive towards oblivion, Electric Wizard’s support acts each represent a different aspect of a band whose unruly trajectory keeps stumbling towards new heights.

MOSS [6] are more suited to claustrophobic dives than the Roundhouse’s expansive interior, their doom trudges stewed down to an inert pulp. Closer Horrible Nights is the one moment where their torpor starts to radiate throughout the venue, like a stench of bad meat. PURSON [8] look like the spirit of both the Roundhouse’s 70s heyday and the circus troupes it once hosted. Spiderwood Farm draws you into derelict yet glitter-laden worlds on the edge of your consciousness as Rosalie Cunningham comes across like a spangled ringmaster leading you across the threshold.

The shaggy dudes comprising THE COSMIC DEAD [8] shake out layers of swirling, Eastern-tinged currents from their guitars, all heading towards some woozy state of euphoria as they’re driven by Hammond updrafts, motorik grooves and the sense that you’ve just inhaled a vat’s worth of patchouli. By the time ELECTRIC WIZARD’s [9] Betamax collection (which is to say, an unending parade of naked, sacrificial virgins) appears on the huge screens behind and Witchcult Today bulges and writhes like it’s incubating some grotesque and restless incubus, the Roundhouse is packed all the way back to the pillars. Wizard have gone beyond the status of doom standard-bearers and entered into more universal realms – the essence of heavy metal projected onto a vast, distorted mirror. Their world has the uncommonly, thoroughly immersive air of a band whose music is a way of life, and tonight they fill out every space of the venue. Dopethrone’s fuzzed-out nihilism and Time To Die’s exiled inebriation, fumbling for its keys at the doors of perception, all radiate wave after wave of bad and utterly intoxicating vibes. Liz Buckingham looks like a groove goddess who takes her job really seriously, Jus Oborn’s nasal, reverb-heavy chant is a smear across the windowpane of consciousness and tonight the Roundhouse becomes a sensurround from which it feels like there’s no escape.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.