Thursday, January 14, 2016
Black Wizard : "New Waste"
If you were thinking "Great another retro flavored stoner rock is just what we need" then you might be happy to know this isn't exactly the case with these guys. They are more of a throw back to the 90s to me than the 70s metal they are supposed to be students. In fact it's more like how 80s metal band adapted to the 90s. Bands like the Hellacopters, Mind Funk and Mother Love Bone are bands I hear shades of , this is put through a more modern filter of heaver The Sword and Mastodon to bring the more bong worshipping elements. Midway into this album and I might not be blown away by what that sounds like , but they are talented . Off all the NWOBHM band's that are referenced in regards to these guys I hear Iron Maiden the least. I do hear traces of Andrew Wood on "Unnecessary Evil" . It's these more melodic moment that play to their strengths as a band, though they do break out more of a convincing snarl earlier in the album. There closest to the NWOBHM, comes in the more Diamond Head attack of the closing anthem "Final Ripper". Their singer often sounds like a grittier version of Sean Harris.
Right from the first song there is more atmosphere than most of the classic metal band 's typically indulged in. Even though they build up into a brisk chug they often ride the line between being hard rock and metal. Some of their hooks sink in deeper than others. There is more grit to "Harsh Times" which is like Mind Funk stripped of all the alternative rock leanings . They are not just limited to hard rocking as they drop down into a blues crooner on " Laughing and Lost" that almost sounds like a Jeff Buckley ballad in places. "Vivian Girls " finds the band charging into the song with more of a a galloping metal power to them, though this is not power metal. "Eliminator" finds the vocals cracking into more of scream as the pound away a a higher speed boogie.
"The Priest" is the another of the band's heavier flirtations with metal and even crossing the line into as the song build. The only draw back to their sound is when they put the pedal down and really hit the gas on the tempo some of the songs begin to sound the same. Vocally many of the songs are similar with the slower more blues based moment the best times for their singer. I'll round this one down to an 8 for now , as I don't really see myself being compelled to give this a ton of listens aside from the three passes through I gave this album this afternoon, it did make me want to go back and dig up my old Diamond Head albums. If you like straight forward hard rocking with a touch of 80s and 90s metal then this might be the album you have been waiting for.