ELECTRIC WIZARD — Dopethrone

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ELECTRIC WIZARD - Dopethrone cover
4.24 | 33 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2000

Tracklist

1. Vinum Sabbathi (3:06)
2. Funeralopolis (8:43)
3. Weird Tales: I. Electric Frost - II. Golgotha - III. Altar of Melektaus (15:04)
4. Barbarian (6:29)
5. I, the Witchfinder (11:03)
6. The Hills Have Eyes (0:47)
7. We Hate You (5:08)
8. Dopethrone (20:48)

Total Time: 71:11

Line-up/Musicians

- Jus Oborn / Vocals, Guitar
- Tim Bagshaw / Bass
- Mark Greening / Drums

About this release

Rise Above Records, October 9th, 2000

Was released with two different sets of cover art.
Re-issued in 2006 by Rise Above with the bonus track "Mind Transferral" (14:56). This track was also a bonus in a previous Japanese edition of the album.

Thanks to The Angry Scotsman, UMUR, Unitron for the updates

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ELECTRIC WIZARD DOPETHRONE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Electric Wizard's monumental classic of doom metal absolutely drowns the listener in some of the heaviest riffs ever recorded. Any slower and we'd be getting into drone metal territory; as it is, the band expertly judge the balance between slower sections and faster and livelier workouts.

Jus Oborn's fuzzed-out vocals call out from deep in the mix like he's emerging from a thick fog (or weed smoke), and Bagshaw and Greening as the rhythm section are almost completely upstaged by Oborn's lead riffs. Just listen to Funeralopolis and tell me the guitar on that - particularly when things really kick into gear, after Jus is done coughing on a joint in the intro - doesn't sound like the sky is falling.

The best version of Dopethrone to acquire is the recent reissue, which adds the live workout Mind Transferral to the running order - unlike most bonus tracks applied to albums, this one fits in perfectly with the rest of the material here, and the subtle addition of the concluding sample from the original album to the end of Mind Transferral is a clear sign Oborn considers it to be an integral part of the Dopethrone experience. But whichever one you get, brace yourself, because a doom metal experience like no other awaits you when you sample these deep tokes from Satan's own bong.
UMUR
"Dopethrone" is the 3rd full-length studio album by stoner/doom metal act Electric Wizard. The album was released through Rise Above Records in October 2000. The original version featured 8 tracks while later versions include the track "Mind Transferral" as a bonus track (it has previously only been available on the Japanese version of the album). As a consequence of including the bonus track the band removed the around 10 minutes of silence that was originally a part of the 20:48 minutes long closing title track.

The music on the album is filthy, loud, heavily distorted and fuzzy sounding doom/stoner metal. The vocals, which are distorted, raw and low in the mix are of a quite aggressive nature, which along with the extremely heavy and slow, yet groove based riffing and rythms create the basis of the band´s music. This is ultimately the blues taken to it´s most heavy extreme. While this is at it´s core traditional doom metal greatly influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Pentragram and Saint Vitus, the music on "Dopethrone" is generally of a far more extreme nature than the music of the influences. The tracks are generally pretty long and feature few riffs that are repeated over and over again. While that description may not sound like the most interesting thing in the world, listening to the music will probably give you another perspective. Yes this is repetitive, but the repetition is a means to create a hypnotic vibe. It´s kind of like listening to a psychadelic trip that´s gone bad, ugly and evil. The occult themed and dark lyrics provide just the right words to describe that trip. In addition to that the album features several samples from horror, fantasy and witch movies which also help create the right atmosphere.

"Dopethrone" features several highlights and is IMO an album that needs to be listened to in full to fully appreciate, but if I have to point out a couple of favorites it would be "Funeralopolis" and "I, the Witchfinder". The 15:04 minutes long "Weird Tales: I. Electric Frost - II. Golgotha - III. Altar of Melektaus" which is divided into three sections also deserves a mention for it´s diversity. It starts off in doom/stoner metal mode, then enters a crushingly heavy almost funeral doom type section and ends with a section that can only be described as drone.

Not enough praises can be given to producer Rolf Startin who has created a massive, loud, distorted and fuzzy sound that suits the music perfectly. It´s the kind of bass heavy sound that causes loss of breath and threatens to make your intestines implode.

"Dopethrone" is overall quite a monumental release and by now a doom/stoner metal classic. Because of it´s extreme nature it´s probably not a release that will please everyone, but to those who enjoy their doom/stoner metal raw, filthy, distorted and louder than loud "Dopethrone" is not only a recommended listen, it´s a mandatory one. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

Members reviews

Doomster
WARNING: This album WILL cause bowel destruction.

Electric Wizard, from England, are a band which has a long history behind them, both in their own minds and the minds of the listeners. Critics have regarded Electric Wizard as "the heaviest band ever" and the band have nearly hit the mainstream a few times because of this label. Some bands are given this label simply because they play downtuned guitars and smash on drums, but others totally deserve it. Electric Wizard falls into the latter category, and critics are not wrong when they call Electric Wizard "the heaviest band ever". This CD, "Dopethrone" is generally regarded as their magnum opus, and with a good reason. It's an exhilerating, exhausting, hypnotic journey through weed smoke, horror, murder, drugs, torture, and devestation. This is "Dopethrone", and you are it's helpless slave for one hour and fifty-seven seconds.

"Dopethrone" is a truly massive album. It's one your either going to love or loathe. Whether you fall into either category, you can't deny that Electric Wizard has stapled into music history and revelance with this album. If I could reccomend any album to introduce people to doom metal, I would choose either this album or Sabbath's "Paranoid".

The musical style of Electric Wizard is stoner doom metal with a few sprinkles of ambience here and there. On "Dopethrone" the band takes everything they have done in past (and debatedly future) efforts and blends them to make one beastly album. The music is heavily drowned in guitar fuzz, and extremely distorted. At random intervals guitars will break out into a stream of feedback, such as in the middle of the eponymous track (and masterpiece) "Dopethrone", and at the end of "Weird Tales" which is nothing but guitar noise and pounding tribal percussion.

The guitars, when they are not bursting into feedback, are absolutely gigantic. Songs on here are usually built around two or three repetitive riffs (only one riff on the fifth track), but the heaviness and intensity of them prevent them from getting boring. Often times, these riffs will build up into a mammoth explosion of sound, such as in the bridge at the 4:47 mark of "Funeralopolis", one of the more traditional sounding songs on this album (by traditional, I mean that it has a more "normal" sense of progression than the other tracks). Soloing on this album is sparse, but when solos do appear, they either only last a few seconds or drag on for minutes on end. "I, The Witchfinder" (which is the one riff song I mentioned earlier) is one such example of a lengthy solo on this CD which wanders around for the final six minutes or so of the song. I initially thought this solo was too redundant and overstayed it's welcome, but I grew accustomed to it's repetitiveness after several listens, and acts more like a psychedelic rock solo than a doom metal solo.

The drumming of Mark Greening is, for the main part, drowned out by the guitar and bass, but he is still noticeable enough in the production, and is not a simply a fodder member. Like most good doom drummers, he doesn't do anything flashy, but he still stays relevant and doesn't push himself too hard to play something catchy. On some tracks, though, such as "I, The Witchfinder" and "Vinum Sabbathi" the band gives him enough time to shine in the production, more so than other tracks.

Tim Bagshaw's bass is perfectly audible, and is the backbone of this album. He switches between bone-crushingly heavy dirges to a groovy, spaced out jam, like in the intro of the aforomentioned "Funeralopolis". Perhaps his heaviest bass work here is on the title-track, downtuned to the point where it is almost identical to the guitar (which is not a bad thing.)

Jus Oborn is in control of the guitars that I mentioned earlier, but he is also in charge of the vocals. Many listeners of this album say that his vocals are the weak point of Electric Wizard, but I personally disagree. It is true that he takes an angsty, desperate approach to his vocal style, but this is a positive because it can really make the music sound even scarier and crushing. At a few instances throughout the album, Jus Oborn will increase his angsty clean vocals into a tortured scream, such as on the title-track - "Rise, rise, RIIIISE!" or on "Funeralopolis" - "NUCLEAR WARHEADS, READY TO STRIKE, THIS WORLD IS SO FUCKED, LET'S END IT TONIGHT!" If the album didn't sound post-apocalyptic and bleak enough, these screams will downright obliterate whatever life is left on the cold, desolate planet that is Electric Wizard.

This is definetely an album that is not for the faint of heart. You will either love or hate this album, but those who love it will always respect it as one of the greatest doom metal albums of all time. Accept your fate, and let the three wizards crowned with weed annihilate your brain.

Ratings only

  • Seven Moons
  • adg211288
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • aglasshouse
  • Anster
  • Unitron
  • starlessabstract
  • ricardus
  • Colt
  • spacface
  • serenitypaintedeath
  • Nightfly
  • Triceratopsoil
  • Pintos
  • Zargus
  • Psydye
  • Primeval Scum
  • NorseGangsta
  • IMPF2112
  • IMPF
  • Hell0
  • Gi
  • cannon
  • luanpedi
  • Lokus
  • Wilytank
  • The Angry Scotsman
  • Paperbag
  • sauromat
  • Charcaroth

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