Rise Above Records
Electric Wizard. A band that countless Doom acts have cited as major influence in their music, an influence that is not hard to see the reason behind. Many bands appeared in the 90's, such as Sleep, Katatonia, Anathema, etc., and began laying into the sound Black Sabbath had debuted years prior. All of these bands had their own interpretations of the genre- some were slower and groggier, some were heavier and more brutally angry. But in my opinion none of these bands grasped the idea as firmly as Electric Wizard. The band's debut is a legendary one, and although it appeared years after the likes of Sleep and Anathema had their say, Electric Wizard's 1995 eponymous gets practically everything I expect of a Doom metal album right.
Electric Wizard is powerful, loping, almost serene in it's trudging splendor. It's slow, fuzzy crunch combines elements of the early 90's metal with the band's reinvigorating sounds. This album's introduction of new ideas was, in layman's terms, revolutionary. The album shines much in the department of epics, specifically the title track and 'Behemoth', which lives rigorously up to it's name as a gargantuan, practically filthy track filled with the best sludge you'll ever hear. The musicianship is excellent; Electric Wizard is a three man team of Jus Osborn, Tim Bagshaw, and Mark Greening. This lineup was one that remained intact until around 2003 (circa We Live), where Greening and Bagshaw departed only to be replaced by Justin Greaves and Rob Al-Issa respectively. This original lineup is perhaps the most dynamic and musically-virtuous the band ever got, for the stamina and skills of these musicians has been unparalleled by many of their peers. The parts where the band shines are particularly in the Sabbath-like sections, i.e. where there's more rock and roll influence, such as title track (as well as 'Wooden Pipe' I suppose) and 'Stone Magnet'. These two act as bookends to the album, being the closer and opener respectively, which sort of adds to both the songs and album's quality. Both have similarites; both are dark, muddy and heavily distorted, However they are sort of the more traditional/easily digestible tracks. They make a listen-through of the album both a comfortable yet and the same time new experience.
EW's debut is nothing short of a spelling out of the greatness of the band's potential. It's a mind-bending, mind-altering experience from start to finish. Highly recommended.
2016 - The Frying Pan & Thatcher
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