Review Summary: Well, everybody's fu*king in a -- What?
There will no doubt be two ways in which people will perceive Rob's eighth outing: the first - and probably larger consensus - will hear it as a random mess of retro sound samples and eccentric musical ideas, melded with Rob's usual shtick; the smaller group of people will get what he's running with. Those that get it, and those that don't. That simple. At this point in Zombie's near two decade solo career, it's clear that if you never liked the music Rob Zombie had to offer, you won't be won over here either. But Rob has created fresh problems for long-time fans to contend with here: simply put, the album is batsh*t when compared to anything previous in Zombie's canon; it left me to ponder the effect it would have on Rob's core fanbase. Sure, the record still follows the same recipe he's been using since Day One, but it's debatable at this point whether he's completely lost his bearings on this LP and is simply trolling fans.
Getting into the meat and potato of the beast, The Electric Warlock...
is essentially 50% solid tracks, 20% ballads and instrumentation, 20% experimentation and 10% of samples and random, off-the-wall effects thrown into tracks -with ludicrous lyrics. Though I've always known this was going to be an interesting project, as Rob has frequently said that for the last few years, because of the god awful state the industry is in, bounderies don't matter anymore; thus The Electric Warlock...
was designed to throw the kitchen sink at its fans. Literally anything goes. The problem with this no holds barred approach is that the tone of the album is a mess: throwing you from one end of the spectrum to the other; you're going from sound samples of voices speeded up - sounding like Butters from South Park - talking about love for rock music; to hearing hard-hitting metal; to ominous ballads that sound like they came from the Lords of Salem
It's safe to say anyone looking for an album with a little cohesion will be quite disappointed here. The good news is that the album is engaging in every aspect - from start to finish; it literally feels like you've only been listening to it for five minutes before it ends. The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy
is a celebration to excess, and blows everything up to epic proportions; album and track titles back up the sentiment alone, but the lyrics and ideas are so mind-bogglingly shlocky, goofy and 70s grindhouse you can really tell Rob and co. had a lot of fun writing this record. There's some genuinely great tracks on here, and the production does a brilliant job of making instruments - particularly the bass - sound really punchy and heavy. "Medication For The Melancholy" and "In The Age Of The Consegrated Vampire We All Get High" bring all the familiarity the fans yearn for, and the band sounds great: bringing sludgy, energetic industrial metal. But it's one of those albums that leaves you wishing there was more depth to the experience. More real
music than the inescapable feeling experimentation was the focal point here than actual structure and focus. Padding
is the best word to describe the overall feeling for this LP. If you were to take out the actual fleshed out tracks you'd be left with an EP.
The instrumental work on here is some of the most interesting stuff, and ironically the most damaging thing to the record. The Electric Warlock...
falls at the same traps Educated Horses
did; the difference is that the damage is more severe on here because of the more eccentric topics. The instrumental tracks bring such a vivid and ominously dark vibe, ones that project a completely different feeling to what the goofy "Well, Everybody's ***ing In A U.F.O." and "The Life And Times Of A Teenage Rock God" deliver. It's like amalgamating an Adam Sandler comedy with the Exorcist; it's baffling and weird. Then there's Rob's vocal delivery on "Well, Everybody's ***ing In A U.F.O." that adds to the disjointed nature of everything.
It has to be said though: this is a bloody entertaining album. There's no denying I wasn't thoroughly engaged everytime I listened to it. And even with all the different textures and emotions being thrown at you simultaneously every track on here is great. It's just a shame the padding and experimentation saturate and hide what could be great songs, if they'd had a little more time to cook. Does it reinvent the Zombie machine? No. Is it an incoherent mesh of ideas? Yes. Does it entertain on every level? Most definitely. It has its fair share of problems - and some that may even alienate long-time fans - but on a brief analysation alone you can't deny this of being interesting.
Edition: M̶P̶3̶, Vinyl, C̶D̶
Packaging: Single LP, but the Sleeve is a gatefold.
Special Edition: N/A