ELECTRIC WIZARD — Black Masses (review)

ELECTRIC WIZARD — Black Masses album cover Album · 2010 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Black Masses" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK stoner/doom metal act Electric Wizard. The album was released through Rise Above Records in November 2010. There´s been one lineup change since "Witchcult Today (2007)" as bassist Rob Al-Issa has been replaced by Tas (Real name Tasos Danazoglou).

Stylistically it´s more or less a continuation of the stoner/doom metal style of the predecessor. It´s filthy, distorted, dark, psychadelic, and occasionally quite aggressive. Electric Wizard have always been masters of striking a good balance between crushingly heavy occult themed darkness and psychadelic stoned out jamming. Sometimes it has worked wonders and sometimes it´s been a little less successful. "Black Masses" features both excellent moments and less interesting ones. Typically the more structured parts of the tracks on the album work really well. Aggressive, distorted, and desperate sounding vocals by lead vocalist/guitarist Jus Oborn, crushingly heavy riff and rhythms, all packed in an organic and raw sounding production, which suits the music perfectly. Most tracks have a tendency to drag on for too long though, often closing with what seems like endless repetition of the same riffs/rhythms layered with feedback noises and psychadelic effects. It works well for a minute or two, but then those sections overstay their welcome. The inclusion of the dark droning 8:49 minutes long instrumental "Crypt of Drugula", which closes the album, is also a bit hard on the ears of the listener who just wants something recognisable to hang on to.

When that is said I always praise uncompromising artists, and Electric Wizard definitely belong in that catagory. They obviously play exactly what they want to, when they want to, and although they have a basic musical formula, which has worked well for them for years, they don´t necessarily try and replicate their greatest successes. Upon conclusion "Black Masses" is another quality stoner/doom metal release by Electric Wizard and although it may not be their most innovative album nor their most high quality work a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still well deserved.
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