Sunday, October 14, 2012

Initial Impressions: Electric Wizard: Black Masses

This one took me awhile to finally track down.  I have gotten away from ordering albums online unless I really want them.  This did not interest me enough to go that route although I did love Witchcult Today.  But as much as I did enjoy that album I have to be in the right mood for it.

Electric Wizard sounds like the soundtrack to some old 1970's low-budget occult horror movie.  I think that is part of the idea in fact.  I remember an interview with Jus Osborn in Metal Maniacs a few years back (obviously) in which there was a special segment of movies that he recommended.  They were mostly obscure films with the exception of Suspiria.  I checked a few of them out, all the ones I could find on Netflix.  These are the types of movies that I can imagine an Electric Wizard soundtrack to.

The major complaint I have had about Electric Wizard in the past and the reason I have to be in the right mindset to listen to them is their repetitiveness.  The band will frequently drone on and on with one idea with little variation.  Othertimes they will start in on a psychedelic section that will go on for a very long time.  For the most part on this album, the band tends to avoid that.  Most of these tracks are complete and straightforward songs without a lot of meandering parts.  The second half of the album drags a little bit at times and seems to lose steam.  The more interesting songs come in the first half.

This is still very slow music, but that is to be expected.  Electric Wizard has always relied on crushing grooves and extremely heavy riffs.  Those are definitely present here.  They have always been at their most interesting when those riffs move at a little bit of a faster pace and there are some songs on here that do that.  I did have a little bit of an issue with the nasally vocal delivery on "Venus in Furs" at first but it gradually grew on me.

As a full album I think I enjoy this one more than Witchcult Today.  It is a bit more accessible due to the lack of overly-long, drawn-out psychedelia.  However, it does not have a track that stands out far in my mind.  Witchcult had "Dunwich" which is such a terrific song.  This one came close with the title track, but it is just not quite there.  Overall though this is a better album than their previous one.  That has been the extent of my Electric Wizard experience thus far.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that this one is better than Witchcult Today. In my personal opinion, though, Witchcult is the weakest album Electric Wizard have released.

    To be fair, I'm biased in favor of the original 3-piece lineup they had on their first 4 albums, and I haven't personally liked any of their newer releases as well as those ones.