The curse of doom metal strikes once again.
For those who are unfamiliar, doom is a sub-genre of metal that uses heavy, sonorous riffs to create demonic and ghastly themes. Repetition is a key feature to create these hellish vibes, yet it is easy to fall into the trap of lacking musical development. Repeating the same motif over and over again with little variation easily grows tiring – this is the curse of doom metal.
Electric Wizard is a band famous for their gritty sound, satanic motifs and distorted vocals, who have transformed the genre with early albums including ‘Dopethrone’. With their remarkable music background, it surprises me to be disappointed by their latest studio album ‘Wizard Bloody Wizard’. The album was released on the 10th November and the title pays tribute to the experimental Black Sabbath album ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’.
Simplicity is key to doom metal, yet an interesting feature must be developed to capture the listener to avoid the curse. In their attempt to return to traditional rock and roll with a doom basis, I found myself nodding off and having little investment in the music. Their standard rock and roll approach created basic guitar tracks with uninteresting vocal melodies, leaving me unimpressed. Electric Wizard have succumb to the curse of doom metal.
The last song on the album epitomises the diabolical torture of this curse. It is a chore to finish listening to the 11 minute mess of music that is ‘Mourning of the Magicians’. An overly simplistic riff that contains very limited variation of notes is repeated for the entirety of the song. The only development is presented in the guitar solo at the end that provides a relief after suffering an endless torment.
The lyrical themes of the album still retain the nihilistic dread combined with graphic horror that Electric Wizard fans adore. This helps rid some of the disrespect I have for this album. The second verse in ‘Wicked Caresses’ manifests seductive horror commonly found in Gothic literature:
“Her serpent body writhes
Dead eyes now open wide
My senses numbed by vices
Submerging in her darkness”
The anticlimax of this album highlights issues that face new, developing doom metal artists today. The extremely repetitive riffs that lack any interest disappoints me as I realise the once enlightening Electric Wizard have surrendered to the curse of doom metal.