ELECTRIC WIZARD — Let Us Prey (review)

ELECTRIC WIZARD — Let Us Prey album cover Album · 2002 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"Let Us Prey" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK doom/stoner metal act Electric Wizard. The album was released through Rise Above Records in March 2002. It´s the last album to feature the band´s original lineup of Jus Oborn (vocals, guitars), Tim Bagshaw (bass) and Mark Greening (drums), before bandleader Jus Oborn completely revamped the lineup before the recording of "We Live (2004)", leaving him the sole remaining member of the original trio. "Let Us Prey" is one of those really hard albums in a band´s discography as it was released on the heels of Electric Wizard´s most iconic release "Dopethrone (2000)". People always talk about sophomore albums being the hardest to release because of fan expectations, but releasing your first album after a massive success like "Dopethrone (2000)" is probably worse and must have been a daunting task for the band.

They´ve chosen the right path though, as they´ve opted not to make a clone of the predecessor, but instead go for a slightly more accessible phychadelic tinged doom/stoner metal sound. The vicious aggression and darkness of the predecessor have also been toned down considerably and overall "Let Us Prey" is a more warm and pleasant listening experience. But don´t misunderstand that as if Electric Wizard have gone all mellow or anything like that, because that´s certainly not the case. You´ll still find crushingly heavy beats and riffs in spades on this album, stoned guitar soloing over jam packed sections, bleak moods, and Jus Oborn´s characteristic distorted "low in the mix" vocals. The organic musicianship has to be mentioned, as it´s a real asset to the album. These guys sound like real human beings playing and not machines hell bent to deliver militant precision. Electric Wizard understand the importance of delivering this type of music with an organic "live" feel, and they succeed well in doing that on this album.

Most tracks on the 6 track, 43:51 minutes long album are doomy yet groove oriented stoner rockers, but "We, the Undead" is slightly different sounding as it features a generally faster paced tempo and a clear punk influence and "Night of the Shape" is a rather psychadelic sounding instrumental featuring violin and a piano motif. While the doomy riffs are sometimes repeated many times during the tracks, before being followed by a new riff, and the tracks are at times dragged out because of it, the repetition is a means to an end, and when the band finally change riff or something new happens, it provides the music with a powerful release effect. The repetition also works to successfully build the generally dark atmosphere of the album.

The album is packed in an organic, heavy, and fuzzed out sound production, which suits the music perfectly. "Let Us Prey" is all in all another high quality doom/stoner metal release by Electric Wizard, and while it doesn´t quite reach the incredible heights of it´s predecessor, it´s still a mandatory listen for fans of the band, and a recommended listen for fans of doom/stoner metal in general. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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