Thursday, October 2, 2014
Electric Wizard: "Time to Die"
Once a upon a time this might have been considered black metal even though we now know it to be doom. The opening horror movie like sample sets a darker tone for the U.K. band.They have lost none of their powerful rumble and as doom grows desolate with each release trying to suffocate the band before them Electric Wizard has shown up to hold their ground. The ten minute opening track track sets the bar high for the rest of the album.The chant of "We Wanna get high / before we die" comes before the title that follows,so death is one of the album primary topics. The title track is less sprawling. The band has a tighter grip on their doom like attack. The vocals are more of an after thought here, and the song feels more like a jam despite being more singular in purpose than the opener. In some ways this reminds me more of classic St. Vitus, particularly in the arrangement.
They come back stronger on the 11 minute opus "I Am Nothing". Slower paced in it's rumble,with a vocal chant holding it's center. The song eventually launches into a sonic cosmos, where bands like Hawkwind tend to soar in their psychedelia. The fiendish samples return on "Destroy Those Who Love God". Here they take on a creepier sludge sound scape. The use of the organs set back in the mix are extremely effective in conjuring visions of the Manson Family paying Sharon Tate a late night visit. This is more of an interlude, but is still very entertaining in the picture it paints. They return to the death theme, this time with a more cerebral slant on "Funeral in Your Mind". The guitars take on a more seventies rock "We Love the Dead" carries a drugged out sluggish shamble to it's morbid declaration. The verses on this song are spacious. There is a less oppressive weight pounding down on you here. In this manner they look back to more traditional doom that came out of the 80's.
The rock groove keep coming with "SadioWitch". This sinister whine of the vocals continues to keep it's grim narrative in a similar fashion as it seem to stick with when not launching into a maddening chant. The lyrics are clearer here and seem to be comparing love to drugs. The love of drugs is certainly a prime element to the conception of this album.
"Lucifer's Slaves" takes on a slightly more sinister ambiance, though it rumbles forward at a pace not unlike what the band has already established. It only slows further drag the dirge into the dirt of it's fresh grave. This had has employed more effective melodies in the past than they seem to be doing here , so I'm not sure if they feel they must offer up melody on the altar of sacrifice in order to be heavy. The bass is really the only instrument that wanders off to break away from the drone and do something interesting with it's fills. "Saturn Dethroned" is more of just and outro that might as well be a part of "Lucifer's Slaves" as it doesn't really do anything but let the keyboard have their moment in the spotlight, that could have taken place within the confines of any of these songs to have made them more dynamic.I'll give this album an 8. The weight of it catches you by surprise at first and lures you into it's orgy of black magic, but the longer you stick around for this party the more you begin to sober up and question the song writing. If you love these guys , then you will continue to do so, as like Motorhead, they are continuing to give you more of what you want from them.