This album is a sludgy mess.
If you need technicality in your music, close the book on Electric Wizard (henceforth “EW”) and continue your search elsewhere.
EW’s most famous opus and third album is everything good musical output should not be. It's noisy, messy, lazy, droning, at times incomprehensibly overdriven into the depths of monotony and back.
It chews at your brain and then smashes it in with a bludgeon.
And if you come out alive, you find yourself in a world overtaken with blazon psychedelia and drenched in heavy metal madness. It takes the stoner grooves of Kyuss and Queens of the Stoneage and straps them to slow, plodding Beelzebub Anthems of Doom that move along like an elephant at the gaze of a Gorgon. Et tu Brute?
The instrumentation is simple, the musical content even simpler. An average rock band lineup that employs all of its instruments for one simple purpose: to make the sound as low, dense and bleak as possible. Guitars are down-tuned so as to avoid clarity, the drums keeping a simple and affirmative beat, the vocals just a distorted cry over the madness of the instrumentals. Musicianship? Nonexistent.
The album begins with an intriguing voice sample, no doubt taken from an old 70s B-movie, saying “When you get into one of these groups, there's only a couple ways you can get out. One is death, the other is mental institutions.” Comical, but somehow disturbing in how true it rings for this album. You might feel you've gone insane by the end of the sprawling Funeralopolis
, ending its 8-minute duration with an intense jam with the vocals screaming out maniacally, distorted beyond comprehension, propelling the dirge into outer space.
is another highlight, an epic in many different parts, starting out with a typical doom jam and making its way into a droning, distorted bass-driven exposition slathered in feedback and building in intensity. An insane atonal lead shrieks out over the ominous instrumentals that speed up and slow down, making for the most dynamic piece on the album. Weird sounds emanate from underneath the muddy landscape. The sludgy instrumentals then slowly decay into a spacey drone section ala Boris.
and I, the Witchfinder
are the next to faux-mythology-inspired doom pieces, both highlights and masterpieces in the genre. Intense washes of cymbals paint the distorted guitar and bass these tunes that shift through many droning sections and never get old even in their intense runtimes. Strange sounds and creepy wind noises encircle the landscape, frightening in premise. The vocals are powerful and maniacal. Dopethrone
concludes the album with another doom metal masterpiece, employing mysterious voice samples underneath the sludgy gloom of the instrumentals.
This is an intense album, that should be played LOUD. If it's not loud, you won't enjoy it. Regardless, it's a masterpiece of its genre and shouldn't be missed