Review Summary: Solid stoner-doom with an excellent female singer.
Kult Of The Wizard are band coming from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have released three EPs, all showcasing the band’s style of doom and stoner metal. The third of these releases, entitled The White Wizard, marks a major progression for the group. While the band’s first two EPs had been entirely instrumental, and been generally lauded as excellent collections of raw and sludgy stoner jams, with The White Wizard the group had chosen to incorporate vocals into their sound. As it turns out, the old adage about not fixing something which isn’t broken did not apply in this instance. With the addition of a singer, Kult Of The Wizard has taken a significant step forward, and the resulting release can be recommended for all fans of this type of music.
The White Wizard consists of five songs. The first, “Tusk Of Mammoth”, is an excellent introduction to the band’s new sound, being a bit more polished than previous releases. Over turgid riffs, the female vocalist Mahle Roth sings in a soulful manner. This works quite well, and in a distinctive manner, setting a solid tone for the entire EP. “Olde Fashioned Black Magik”, meanwhile, is a brief and straightforward track more in tune with retro-metal. The White Wizard’s centerpiece, “Plasma Pool”, is likely to divide the opinions of listeners. An ambient track consisting of vocal samples and background noise, some might dislike it, considering it takes up nearly four minutes of a relatively-short release. However, it does produce an eerie vibe which is accentuated in other parts of the EP. “Black Moon” is the release’s longest song, and arguably the best. The lyrical subject matter dealing with Satan and impending death might be a bit generic, but it sounds fantastic with Roth’s ethereal vocals and the reliably strong riffs. Finally, the EP’s closer might well be surprising: a cover of Heart’s “Devil Delight”. The result is certainly a highlight though; Kult Of The Wizard does the original justice while adding their own doomy aesthetic to the tune quite successfully.
The White Wizard is certainly a positive step for Kult Of The Wizard. The band seems to have found a workable and solid sound, that of spacey and somewhat menacing doom combined with heavy blues elements epitomized by their great new singer’s vocal style. Hopefully, the group will soon create their first full-length album and manage to capture more widespread exposure. For now, though, The White Wizard is a rock-solid release which should be worth several listens for fans of these genres.