Review by Alexander Hannam
From start to finish, Wizard Bloody Wizard provides a sludgy yet energetic dose of doom metal that is sure to get you through the bores of life.
The opening track, ‘See You in Hell’, has a huge bass heavy riff; the lyrics are dark and gritty (as expected from the genre) and add to the general atmosphere of not just the track, but the album itself. It is one of my favourite songs from 2017 and their choice to use it as the lead single is perfect.
The next track is ‘Necromania’, with some awesome lyrics as usual. In fact, the lyrics always provide some fun and the vocal delivery by Jus Osborn make this album. Not to downplay the importance of the other members – they’re all extremely talented – but what I will say however is that despite the catchy chorus, the instrumentation in verses often sounds messy and as though, at times, they have too many things going on at once. Sadly, this can be said for most of the album, as they all show off their talent individually but maybe a bit too much. Perhaps it is just not to my taste, but it took me out of the listening experience to some extent. I was muttering the chorus to myself whilst working nonetheless.
Another notable track would be the dark love song, ‘Wicked Caresses’. Liz Buckingham’s guitar work does not go unnoticed, consistently providing a riff catchier than the flu in winter. The instruments all have clarity in this track which is needed in my opinion after the often messy instrumentation in the middle of the album. Like the opening track, it is one of my favourite songs from the last year and may be my favourite Electric Wizard song to date.
Closing the album is the 12 minute monster ‘Mourning of the Magicians’. Sadly, it only really picks up at the last few minutes, leaving it feeling like a song that could have been shortened a bit.
As a whole, Wizard Bloody Wizard is one of the strongest albums from the past year. While, yes it is flawed in various ways, I believe that in a way that’s what they wanted: something dark and raw. It works. I love this album and I’m going to be listening to some tracks on it for a long time.
7.5/10. A modern doom metal masterpiece held back only by its sometimes messy production.