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Electric Wizard: Time To Die

Satan’s favourite sludge-metal stoners get high on their own supply.

Moving to their own label after almost two decades with Rise Above, Dorset doom-metal veterans Electric Wizard are not exactly stretching themselves on their eighth album.

Of course, you pretty much know what to expect with a band named after two Black Sabbath tunes: mudslide riffs, turbo-screeching vocals, Hammer-horror occult lyrics and a thick marijuana fug of fuzzed-up vintage amp-blowing stoner-sludge heaviosity. Incense For The Damned and Destroy Those Who Love God rework overfamiliar tropes, churning psych-rock cauldrons overlaid with dated clips of US news bulletins linking heavy rock to Satanism.

But Jus Oburn and his ever-changing line-up also make some agreeably exotic detours here, spicing up more unruly tracks such as I Am Nothing and Funerals Of Your Mind with molten noise-rock eruptions and gale-force howls of atonal guitar, edging away from the band’s retro-metal comfort zone towards My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth territory. At their best, the Wizard can still make you spurt blood from every orifice.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.