“Wizard Bloody Wizard”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Many agree that the last Wizard album “Time To Die” was one of the most miserably depressing and suffocating records to ever see the light of day. It was a black hole so dark and all-swallowing that even many dedicated Electric Wizard fans were turned off. There was no farther they could go down that road without self-destructing.

“Wizard Bloody Wizard” will never be mistaken for a pop record, but it takes a different tack. The bluesy retro Sabbath elements have come to the fore and there’s a lot more rocking groove to the material than the all-enveloping crush of “Time To Die”. In some ways, it seems to go back to the band’s self-titled debut, but also has elements of “Witchcult Today” and “We Live”.  The obsession with death and the occult remains but done in a more palatable style. That being said, there is still a feeling that this band is treading well worn ground.

“See You In Hell” starts things with a simple but deceptively hooky groove. It’s a darker take on early 70’s stoner rock. “Necromania” has a very obvious early Sabbath vibe to it that also sinks under the skin. One thing’s for sure, Jus Oborn’s fascination for the movie “Necromania” has no limits. “Hear The Sirens Scream” for me is the record’s best…really heavy and gloomy, with some cool riffs. “The Reaper” has organ on overdrive and “Wicked Caresses” follows in the vein of “Hear the Sirens Scream” but not quite as potent.

The record runs out of gas big time with the last epic tune “Mourning of the Magicians”, which just kind of plods around in tired fashion for more than 11 minutes with some fairly uninspired bluesy jamming. It just seems to lie there and lacks the energy that made the timeless “Dopethrone” so great.

Definitely an easier listen than “Time To Die” and with definite points of interest, but not really regaining the magnificence of Electric Wizard at its very best.