Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Electric Wizard - Time to Die (2014)

All right, so it's that time again, finally, and the question is... have they lived up to the hype? I'm gonna have to say yes. The most important thing here is that the band has returned to the sound of old. Let me be clear here... the 'sound' is a return. NOT the riffs themselves. Many (not all) of the riffs here are reminiscent of the past few Wizard outings but drenched in the familiar fuzz of the band's seminal duo, Come my Fanatics and Dopethrone. There's a lot of echo going on , vocally, which is an old trick as well that had sort of dwindled a bit through the years.

Even though I had mentioned previously that the riffing is closer to the 'Witchcult/Black Masses' side of the fence there are more than a few songs here that see the band actually moving forward for a change. Obviously Electric Wizard isn't incorporating the song structures of Yes into the equation. I mean, we are talking about doom metal here, but the riffing style is definitely moving on from the stylistic slump the band had been in for a bit, and thank goodness for that. I would've been highly disappointed if this had turned out to be yet another 'Witchcult' retread such as Black Masses essentially was.

Aside from a couple of tracks the songs here are not as heavy as you would think. No, they're not bad, by any stretch but it's obvious the band were going for something else. Almost like a '60's pop/doom hybrid. Don't fret though, this is still very much the Wizard starring as the Wizard and everything is in order as one would hope.

Though I'm not terribly jazzed about the cover art (which I really haven't been since 'We Live' except for the LP version of Black Masses) I will say that it is extremely similar to the original cover for 'Come my Fanatics' which ultimately serves to bring everything going on here full circle.

I for one was a bit on the fence with Witchcult Today and I had all but written the band off after Black Masses which, to me, is easily the weakest Electric Wizard album to date. I am happy to say that 'Time to Die' has finally broken the pattern of sterility. To sum it all up, if someone were to tell me that this was the missing album that was supposed to have been released after 'Let Us Prey' I would have believed them without hesitation. It's still early in the game and I'm sure the songs will only further grow on me in time but for now I am thoroughly content.

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