Soundchecks Music Reviews

Witchcult Today by Electric Wizard

Candlelight Records

Electric Wizard

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

When it comes to doom, few bands attain the heaviness of England's Electric Wizard. The band's latest foray into the world of sludge and stoner excess, Witchcult Today is anchored by the catchiness of Dunwich, which lyrically taps into the weird world of horror icon H.P. Lovecraft and musically sets the stage with a buzzsaw-killing guitar riff and bone-grinding percussive rhythms.

Those craving heaviness have access to the likes of Satanic Rites of Drugula and the trip-blaster Black Magic Rituals And Perversions. However, those into the heaviest of doom will find the track Saturine taps into the outer dimensions with such psychedelic fury that even the pipe-obsessed Old Ones are sure to lend it an ear.

As always, vocalist Jus Oborn strains to be heard over his own guitar riffs, which are complemented by fret-burner Liz Buckingham. Bassist Rob Al-Issa (since departed) lets his woofer moan and groan, thus giving the guitar centre-stage but keeping the overall sound very, very heavy. Then there's drummer Shaun Rutter, who knows when to pull back and slow down. When he does speed up, he brings the guitars with him.

Lyrically, Electric Wizard continues to mix history with fiction, all the while emphasising darkness and perversion. For example, Torquemada '71 delves into the Spanish Inquisition and introduces none other than Countess Bathory ("From your sweet lips, confession, my Countess Bathory"). The Chosen Few is blatantly evil, with the lyric "legalise drugs and murder, Satanas Luciferus we pledge these souls to you." And then there's the title track, in which the "black goat forms from dopesmoke."

As the refrain in Dunwich so lovingly points out, "Our time has come, the end has begun." So, what are you waiting for?

Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press