By Dr. Abner Mality

Absolute 100% ELECTRIC WIZARD/SLEEP worship is on tap from this German band. Every aspect of those pioneering sludge doom bands is mimicked here, with such fidelity that “Haunted” could easily pass for a new offering from either band. It seems this kind of evil druggy sludge is not as prevalent as it was a few years ago so this comes as a welcome fix to fans of the style.

CONFUSION MASTER play long, dragging tunes full of thick, oozy riffs, drippy psychedelic guitar solos and thin nasal vocals telling stories of Satan, Cthulhu and horror. They hit the hardest and strongest right out of the gate with “Viking X”, a 10 minute plus crusher that conjures up strong ELECTRIC WIZARD vibes immediately. There are some awesome riffs in this one, where the vocals don’t even start until the last 2 minutes of the track. This is the album peak, never reaches this height again.

Next tune “The Cannibal County Maniac” is a pretty dull slog as it drips through a simple, syrupy tune laced with drugged up wah wah solos. This lacks the visceral power of “Viking X”. The preferred style of CONFUSION MASTER seems to be hazy, SLEEP style riffage that gives you a stoned, langorous vibe as you listen. “Casket Down” and “Jaw On A Hook” are two more long, thick jams but the haziest and druggiest of all has to be the title track. Last cut “Under the Sign of the Reptile Master” returns to a riffier crunch in WIZARD mode, complete with plenty of the expected ho-hum Satan references and samples.

If you haven’t caught the drift by now, “Haunted” comes recommended to fans of druggy, downtuned sludge. If you’ve never been into the style, this will surely not change your mind.