Electric Wizard & Angel Witch at Bierkeller, Bristol - live review

Dorset’s doom demigods bewitch the West Country

Electric Wizard & Angel Witch live at Bierkeller, Bristol

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Tonight’s special guests, the old-school heavy metal legends ANGEL WITCH [7], give the crowd a good warm-up, but not even their classic, self-titled closing track can match the headliners for occult-steeped vividness. The Dorset heroes’ vintage Satanic imagery sets the scene for their crushingly heavy, acidic breed of British doom. It’s less than five minutes into Funeralopolis and the crowd is already entranced. ELECTRIC WIZARD [8] have conjured up a black mass, reigning supreme from their dopethrone. Dedicated disciples are compelled to get as close as possible, and a swarm of sweaty bodies thrust up against the stage, clambering over each other to get a fraction closer. Bierkeller is a notoriously hot venue but even the sweltering heat can’t discourage this sea of mesmerised followers from some spirited headbanging. It’s easy to see why metal is seen as not just a music genre but as almost a form of religion when you see Wizard’s bewitching stage presence. With the domineering, sludgy vocals and bluesy riffage of Jus Oborn and Liz Buckingham’s crunching chords, the minor technical issues go almost unnoticed, fixed seamlessly mid-song. A man of few words, Jus need only rely on his filthy dirge of occult lyrics and a few chants of ‘Black mass’ to rally the crowd. Their set, culminating in Vinum Sabbathi, doesn’t require an encore, as the band storm off the stage, abandoning their starry-eyed fanatics to a state of awe.