With the title of ELECTRIC WIZARD‘s ninth album title mimicking BLACK SABBATH‘s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, you would hope the record would sit in the same way as the godfathers overlooked fifth record does, as a ‘really good but not the best’ kind of deal. Instead, however, Wizard Bloody Wizard feels more like SABBATH‘s Never Say Die! album in that it’s fine, it’s passable, but really you want so much more.
Whilst no one is demanding the doom metal perfection of ELECTRIC WIZARD‘s opus, Dopethrone, it is expected that the masters of their own sub-genre release would be one of the year’s highlights. Their last album, 2014’s Time To Die, isn’t the band’s finest work by a long way but it still made an impact and turned heads. Wizard Bloody Wizard however just comes in and quietly sits next to Witchcult Today as one of the most bog standard ELECTRIC WIZARD albums with little fuss.
The opener, See You In Hell, starts us off well with a trippy lead guitar before dropping into Jus Oborn and Liz Buckingham’s trademark thumping stoner riffs. With signature drugged and nihilistic lyrics in place (“All hope is lost, There’ll be no new dawn, And all of your dreams will die”) we’re off to a good start. We also get some atmospheric, bong-rip-like guitar effects near the end but this is one of the only bits of atmosphere building we get on Wizard Bloody Wizard, except for an anticlimactic organ ringing interlude in the form of The Reaper. Ultimately that’s the biggest downfall of this record, instead of creating a smoke-filled journey to get lost in like the band’s best albums, we just get a collection of standard ELECTRIC WIZARD tunes.
Necromania sums up the less exciting tracks on the album perfectly. The riffs can get a head nodding but they’re not that memorable. Hear The Sirens Scream follows suit as the following tracks all but blend into each other. It’s only on the last track, Mourning Of The Magicians, the album captures your attention again. It’s an 11 minute stoner satanic journey with the riff writing back on top form and for the first time on the whole record, we can hear Clayton Burgess’ rumbling basslines flourish. It’s strange because at the end of a bit of a dud album lies one of ELECTRIC WIZARD‘s finest tunes in years, then again ELECTRIC WIZARD has always been phenomenal at ending albums with big hazy jams, it’s just a shame it takes the rest of Wizard Bloody Wizard to get to it.
Wizard Bloody Wizard isn’t a bad album, ELECTRIC WIZARD probably couldn’t make a bad album if they tried, but it’s a very forgettable and by the numbers. Unfortunately, it’s a case of a genre’s pioneers sounding like their many followers. There’s very little that separates this album from every other stoner and doom outfit on the street, that’s not something ELECTRIC WIZARD can afford to do, not when the bar in their scene is being set so high by younger and higher bands.
Wizard Bloody Wizard is set for release on November 17th via Witchfinder Records/Spinefarm Records.
Like ELECTRIC WIZARD on Facebook.