|Review: Electric Wizard - Dopethrone|
Label: Rise Above Records
Year released: 2000
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: January 13, 2003
Reviewed by: Gilgamesh
Rated 3.64/5 (72.86%) (28 Votes)
Electric Wizard is doom incarnate. This music is heavy, in both the aesthetic and ideological sense. Indeed, both aspects excellently complement each other. They serve as the medium for the conveyance of thought and emotion, forming art in the purest sense. This music speaks with a bleak, nihilistic tone, utilizing the terribly difficult mechanism of abstraction to illustrate concrete ideas. Even in so doing, Electric Wizard manages to create a message of epic scope and feel allowing the purest transcendence of life’s banality in visions of dark towers beyond the moon and the desecration of empirical corporation.
Aurally, this is manifest in variety of different ways. Perhaps, central to this is the dark guitar tone, that is, one overflowing in low end and decayed pedal fuzz. At times towering and oppressive, at times ethereal and expansive. The bass follows suit, being low and powerful with an evil, dancing vibe running through. Employed also is a magnificent flowing feedback. Underlining this are the drums, atmospheric and tribal. The music itself is quite minimalist, and is styled with a distinctive retro’ and stoner patterning. Furthermore, aspects generated in the music reflect imagery born from the horror subculture, both the literary and film, as well as the darkly fantastic. Together, these elements form a cohesive whole, affecting that idea of transcendence.
The album begins with “Vinum Sabbathi”, the song itself beginning with a horror film sample, a common introduction for several tracks to come, and one utilized well throughout. On “…Sabbathi”, Jus lets his fingers dance a bit on the fret-board before going into a power chord slide riff. The song itself, being rather short, is, after a fashion, the introduction to the following epic, “Funeralopolis”. This track opens with a melancholic, single-note, bluesy groove and picks up into a bleak power chord wall of sound. Next is the three-part “Weird Tales”, paying homage to such literary masters of old as H.P. Lovecraft. The song begins with a mid-tempo groove, interspersed with the occasional drum gallop, and gradually descends into an ocean of feedback. Following this is “Barbarian”, featuring a more straightforward Sabbath-like riff, the song itself in worship of Robert E. Howard’s fabled Conan mythos. The album then proceeds into “I, Witchfinder”. The song is dark, plodding and slow, reflecting, quite well, that influence of the horror culture. Following, is the “The Hills Have Eyes”, a short jazz/blues interlude introducing “We Hate You”. The latter illustrates a deep misanthropy, and shows a slightly manic certainty in the structure. Closing the album is the monolithic “Dopethrone”. A hymn of praise to weed and transcendence itself, therein is infused a chaotic pagan element and the greatest point of artistic fruition is attained.
In the end, it is my dismay that my simple descriptive capabilities are not sufficient to adequately praise the glory that is Electric Wizard.
Kneel before the Dopethrone! Hail Metal Art!
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