Words Ian Hawkins.
Electric Wizard are not a band you would like to come across in a shady alleyway, unless one of you has drugs in your pocket and the other money. Dark, sinister and murderous tones flow over much of the bands work, and their latest effort Time To Die is clearly no exception.
With ultra-low tunings, ritualistic drums and all round sludgery, Electric Wizard have paved the way for a whole host of stoner / doom bands like Bongzilla and Reverend Bizarre to name just two, but none deliver with the same malicious intent as Electric Wizard.
Following four years after Black Masses, this new effort from Electric Wizard saw large amounts of legal wrangling from Rise Above Records, seeing the creation of the bands own label Witchfinder records, via Spinefarm Records. Whilst Jus Osborn, the brains behind Electric Wizard has long been listed as co-producer on previous records, Time To Die sees him producing under his own flag, with great results.
Piercing through the mountainous guitars, the vocal sound on this record is the best we’ve heard yet from Electric Wizard, tight, searing and squished. With Dopethrone a good 14 years behind them, the band have never really gotten ‘heavier’ per se, but some more elements do really draw this record together. Lead guitars that drift from one end of a wah pedal to another in a stoned daze are masterfully delivered, whilst jarring organ chords sit beneath riffs that never end.
Time To Die sees the return of the bands original stickman Mark Greening, bringing with him the deep and menacing tom fills that characterize the band’s sound.
Whilst the Electric Wizard of today isn’t vastly different to that of 1996, it is certain that the band have really nailed their sound in a way unlike their contemporaries. My personal highlights are Time To Die and We Love the Dead, but I did find the album a bit tedious to listen to in full. Slow and repetitive may be the nature of the music, but the grip just isn’t as tight from start to finish quite like their magnum opus. I shan’t elaborate too much on the very ending, but let’s just say there is a choice other than death or mental institution.
Will we see Electric Wizard on our shores? Numerous promoters have tried bring them back after their 2005 Australian tour (I’m told their Geelong show was attended by some 11 people), but none have succeeded in bringing the Lords Of This World to our far corner of it.
Not enough money? Not enough weed? Not enough amps? Who knows, but you can show your love on the ‘Bring Electric Wizard to Australia / NZ’ facebook page.