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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Reviews: Electric Wizard, Wolf Counsel, Bloodlust, Shakra (Review By Paul)

Electric Wizard: Wizard Bloody Wizard (Witchfinder Records)

Three years since the UK’s definitive doom metallers released Time To Die and the Dorset outfit thunder back onto the radar with a lumbering beast of an album, Wizard Bloody Wizard. Crammed to the gills with the expected sack full of hefty riffs, crashing drums and sheer sinister evil we’ve come to expect, this is 43 minutes of rampaging doom with the usual stoner edge. Over 20 minutes shorter than their previous long player, the album sees new members Clayton Burgess and Simon Poole making their debut/return respectively joining Jus Osborn and Liz Buckingham. The Sabbath edge remains, especially on the Geezer Butler like bass line rampage of Necromania and Reaper, the distorted fuzz running throughout the tracks. Album closer Mourning Of The Magicians is the epic piece on the release, all 11+ minutes of intense heaviness. I’m not a huge fan but if the Wizard walks by then you really must take notice. 8/10

Wolf Counsel: Age Of Madness/Reign Of Chaos (Czar Of Bullets Records)

We seem to be inundated with Swiss bands at the moment and they are coming with a variety of styles. Wolf Counsel formed in 2014 and have released an album a year since 2015. This is their third release following 2016’s Ironclad and it’s a full-on doom fest. Full of atmosphere, crashing riffs and heavier than a blue whale playing a double bass, this release gives you just over 40 minutes of ball-breaking power. Vocalist Ralf Garcia’s voice lingers unpleasantly, providing the eerie feel, whilst his bass playing locks with drummer Retro Crola to lay down a huge undercurrent. Guitarists AndrĂ© Mathieu and Ralph Huber riff away neatly as the mist rolls in. Semper Occultus has a massive groove which cannot fail to get the head nodding whilst the epic title track is like orienteering a vast mountain range, such is the variation in peaks and dips. A huge sound adds to the whole release which benefits from repeated plays. Well worth checking out. 8/10

Bloodlust – At The Devil’s Right Hand (Caverna Abismal Records)

Spewing up from the pits of the earth, well Perth, Australia to be precise, let me introduce you to the car-crash blackened death metal of Bloodlust and their sophomore release which follows 2015’s debut Cultus Diaboli. With the three band members carrying the ludicrous names of The General (Guitars), Spectre (Bass, Vocals) and Disaster (Drums, Vocals). With a sound that sits somewhere in a toilet of 1983, this Satanic babble is perhaps as ridiculous as it gets. Tinny guitars, bollock battering drumming and gargled vocals combine to some of the most comedic music I’ve heard for several years. Lots of “bleuargghs” only add to the comedy value which had Mrs H chuckling all around the kitchen. Tracks such as Wolves of the Warcursed Earth, Deadly Force and the seven-minute plus Hell-lite Shadows of the Black Sun all leave you scratching your head in confusion. Venom did it so much better. This is not very good. 4/10

Shakra: Snakes And Ladders (AFM Records)

Last year’s High Noon received a reasonable rating here at MOM Towers. Album number 11 continues in the same vein with more saccharine coated middle of the road melodic rock from the Swiss outfit. With the focus very much on the melodic, tracks such as Something You Don’t Understand, The Seeds and the title track are rather routine and repetitive. The same line-up that recorded High Noon returns on Snakes And Ladders but to be honest, this time around, it’s the similarity of the songs that makes it a tedious listen. The band are technically competent, and I know from experience that there is a vast market for this music, but it just doesn’t float my boat I’m afraid. 6/10

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