KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD — PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation (review)

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD — PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation album cover Album · 2023 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
It’s hard to believe that Australia’s KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD has only been around since 2010 and only released their debut album eleven years ago in 2012 but this prolific band has somehow found it in them to release 24 albums in a wide variety of musical styles in that decade plus time frame. While dabbling in everything from psychedelic garage rock to neo-psychedelic prog, the band tackled the world of thrash metal with its 2019 release “Infest the Rats’ Nest” and has found it on their work table to continue down this path in 2023 with the exhaustingly named album PETRODRAGONIC APOCALYPSE; OR, DAWN OF ETERNAL NIGHT: AN ANNIHILATION OF PLANET EARTH AND THE BEGINNING OF MERCILESS DAMNATION.

Like most of KING GIZZARD’s output, this album is based on a series of recorded jam sessions that were then teased into various genre twists. Looks like thrash infused speed metal won the contest this time around and so it made the perfect noisy backdrop for an overall concept that tackled sci-fi themes such as dragons and witches. Tried and true heavy metal themes from the getgo. The album features seven tracks hovering close to the 49-minute mark however if you happen to shell out the extra dough for vinyl release you will be treated to the 14-minute bonus track "Dawn of Eternal Night” bringing the playing time up to 63 minutes.

Honestly this is one of those bands i don’t really get the hype about. Sure these guys have crafted some interesting psych prog that does indeed strike the right mood but when it comes to the band’s metal creds i find them lacking in many departments. First of all this to my ears basically PETRODRAGONIC sounds like a Motorhead tribute album as hinted at on the opening track “Motor Spirit” which reveals its true intent with its track name. Almost as if a homage to Lemmy himself the album meanders from crushing speed and thrash metal riffing crunchiness to moments of psychedelic interludes that may have found a home in an early Hawkwind offering.

Likewise even the vocals are on Motorhead mode and the seven tracks seem to not vary much in terms of intensity or creative input. While the thrash metal guitar chugs are pleasant enough the songwriting seems out of place in the context of a thrash metal experience which honestly throws the entire thing off for me. The slower moments of muddled guitar riffs with keyboard accompaniments sound more authentic to my ears as the band lacks the songwriting skills and drumming prowess to animate a true thrash metal attack. It honestly sounds like a non-metal band is taking its first steps into unfamiliar territory! Not to mention a complete lack of virtuosity in terms of lead guitars, chord progression changes and a complete failure of dynamic instrumental interplay. Yes virtuosity matters in thrash metal.

Since the 1980s the world of thrash metal has produced countless mega bands ranging from Metallica and Megadeth to Slayer, Sepultura, Coroner, Sadus, Exodus, Forbidden, Overkill, Annihilator and Vektor just to name a very few and somehow KING GIZZARD fails to approach a competency even close to any of these great bands. What we get here is more of a proto-thrash approach in the vein of Motorhead most of all with some aspects honing in on early “Kill Em All” Metallica and early 80s thrash metal before the genre got too sophisticated for many non-metalheads. Well to each their own but this band just doesn’t pull off extreme metal to my liking. It sounds disingenuous on many levels and fails to beckon a return visit of any sort. I would recommend the good Aussie GIZZARDS to stick to the world of heavy psych and neo-psychedelia which suits their abilities because i find this rather uninspiring. A band that truly has chosen quantity over quality.
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Tupan wrote:
5 months ago
King Gizz is a bit overrated, but I liked this album (more than Infest the Rats Nest)
5 months ago
Well yeah that's a bit of a ridiculously high placement. Possibly due to high numbers of voters due to their ever expanding fanbase exceeding other better but lesser known outfits? As much as I enjoy their work and the fact they seem to bask in true creative freedom, they could definitely benefit from a degree of curation.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
5 months ago
Wasn't expecting a metal masterpiece and i get it that they just want to have fun but as a listener i'm thoroughly uninspired. I'm shocked that this album is already up to #1449 on top 10K album charts on RYM meanwhile really great bands / albums linger far behind. Fun for them but not for me!
5 months ago
Totally get what you're saying here Mike and your points are well made. For me, I don't think Gizz were trying to create a thrash metal masterpiece but just trying to have some fun while simultaneously providing fun for others - something they've achieved, at least for me personally. However, I do agree in preferring their more psych/prog tinged material.


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