Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard album review

Doom denizens dial down the dissonance

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Within a few seconds of opening tune See You In Hell, it’s obvious that Electric Wizard’s ninth studio album amounts to a significant detour. In the past, the band’s languorous, malevolent epics oozed other-worldly menace from every pore, bolstered by insanely thick guitar tones and delivered with dense, psychedelic intensity. This time around, those eerie atmospheres and that underlying sense of hostility are conspicuous by their absence, leaving only the band’s trademark riffs – which are still monstrous – and frontman Jus Oborn’s snarling diatribes exposed and brittle under the harsh light of more transparent sonic values.

Songs like Necromania and Wicked Caresses are still horribly heavy and several qualitative notches above most equivalents, but if you compare this to past triumphs like Come My Fanatics and Dopethrone – albums that pushed doom metal into heavier and more joyously drug-addled territory than ever before – Wizard Bloody Wizard falls a spliff or two short of the mark.