Review Summary: An excellent slab of doom marred by a little bit of monotony.
Anybody who has heard of England's Electric Wizard knows that they are one of the heaviest bands to ever exist. Their music can be summed up in the immortal words of fellow doom metal titans Sleep: "Drop out of life with bong in hand, follow the smoke toward the riff-filled land." Now, Sleep wrote that line two years after this album came out, but it's exactly what Electric Wizard brings to mind. Laying down gigantic riffs with no regard for eardrums, speakers or their own brain cells, EW are a trip to hear for anyone, whether or not they partake in the illicit drug use the band is associated with. This is most noticably evidenced by their masterpiece, Dopethrone
. But three years before that behemoth was released, there was Come My Fanatics...
On this album, Electric Wizard are:
Jus Osborn - Guitar/Vocals
Tim Bagshaw - Bass
Mark Greening - Drums
Like their peers in Sleep and Boris, Electric Wizard prove that three people is all you need to be loud as hell. The listener understands this from the first second of album opener "Return Trip." Impossibly low guitar and knee-quaking bass dominate this song (and album) at a very slow, crushing pace. The band is surprisingly minimalist for such dense music, with two four-line verses making up the 10-minute opening track. Just like every other point in their career, each song has four or five riffs maximum, yet five of the six tracks exceed seven minutes. For those new to doom metal, this sounds like a tedious experience. But that kind of riffing style is a genre-wide feature, and the Wizard have a tendency to keep the listener engrossed in their hazy noise.
Electric Wizard are remarkable in that they can make songs catchy while maintaining this extremely simplistic and inaccessible sound. For example, album highlight "Wizard in Black" (though not as infectious as future tracks like "Vinum Sabbathi" and "Dunwich") contains a somewhat hooky opening riff that repeats until you can't help but nod along. This is one of many pages that the band took from the book of Black Sabbath, their most obvious idols.
Unfortunately, there are points on this album where things do become a bore. The instrumental "Ivixor B/Phase Enducer" is entirely useless. I don't smoke, but even I can figure out that any listener should be heavily under the influence to enjoy that track. The other five tracks could all stand to be cut short by a minute as well. Dopethrone
had the same problems, but the highlights of that album are better than the five real songs from this one. Come My Fanatics...
is a great album, but Electric Wizard had yet to exploit their potential to the fullest. Still a must-listen for doom fans.