Review Summary: Boredom bloody boredom.
As a title, Wizard Bloody Wizard
sure makes it obvious. I mean, even in various interviews regarding Electric Wizard's latest album, Jus Oborn simply laughs off the melodrama of social media when everybody reacted to a name so closely related to arguably the band's strongest influence. Yet for all the ridicule the band have experienced over the years, Oborn and his bandmates seem to have shrugged off any notion that Electric Wizard are becoming a shadow of their former selves, not once but many times as the constant comparisons to Sabbath inevitably come pouring out.
Until now at least.
No beating about the bush, Wizard Bloody Wizard
gives you the impression of a young band trying to ape Electric Wizard trying to ape Black Sabbath. Sort of what Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats would sound like if their sound was even more lo-fi and indie and their songs were three times longer than usual. In recent interviews, Oborn admitted that the recording for Wizard Bloody Wizard
took place in a cabin practically in the middle of nowhere. More specifically, a basement where numerous jam sessions took place and it eventually culminated in a forty-plus minute record which, rather than presenting itself as a B-sides and oddities collection, was to be the new Electric Wizard release. You can sense the severe lack of inspiration from the get-go here. Oborn's nasally, one-dimensional vocal delivery plants itself all over opener "See You in Hell", which for some reason was chosen to features prominently on an EP earlier this year. The guitar work, whilst loud and in your face at all times, ultimately buries bass and drum work until halfway through when the rhythm section strangely calms down for a half-hearted jam session. These are forgivable in an Electric Wizard album. The impression that the band have seemingly forgotten what made them stand out from the crowd over a decade ago is not.
The nitty gritty of Wizard Bloody Wizard
is how it makes its listener consider asking "Why am I here and why is this album rotating on my record player"". At no point should a doom metal album make you even think of posing such a question. Yet with all the respect garnered around Electric Wizard's sometimes grand reputation for being the sub-genre's leading force, somehow Wizard Bloody Wizard
became an idea. "Necromania" ramps up the driving force of the guitar work, but what it doesn't do is build on a sound which, at this point in the band's career, has become devoid of emotion or soul. At least the band embark on a more atmospheric slant with "The Reaper", but the fact that it's more of an interlude at three minutes long than any of the other five tracks is deemed unfortunate for anyone who was expecting a return to former glories after the drop in quality with the last few albums. Even the lengthier songs-"Hear the Sirens Scream" and closer "Mourning of the Magicians" respectively-don't bother to add any magic, and in the end you're left with forty odd minutes of Electric Wizard essentially recycling ideas but not necessarily using
them. Sure, you can appreciate the moderate level of effort in the solo sections of "Necromania" and "Wicked Caresses", but even here you'll likely be scraping the barrel for any sense of enjoyment.
It's a little painful for me to admit this, but it seems Electric Wizard have take too many steps back, perhaps as far back as their demo days before even the self-titled 1995 debut release was an idea. Wizard Bloody Wizard
details a new direction apparently, but what is a direction if it doesn't lead anywhere" Could we really imagine several more albums doing exactly the same thing but not building it into something more exciting" Electric Wizard's latest effort is regressive and uninspired, and only marginally interesting for those who have never heard doom metal before.