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Review: The Wizar’d - Subterranean Exile
The Wizar’d
Subterranean Exile

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2020
Duration: 35:09
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy/Doom


Review online: February 26, 2021
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.73/5 (94.55%) (11 Votes)

The Wizar'd are a band I haven't paid much attention to despite knowing about them for years. I recall listening to their Follow the Wizard EP years ago and liking it well enough, but not enough for me to follow their career all that closely. Still, I heard a lot of talk on this one, so I figured I'd see what all the fuss was about. If this is anything to go off of, I have clearly made a mistake disregarding this band, because while I wasn't looking they just went ahead and turned themselves into a first-rate act.

They may have started out as a more traditional old-school Doom act, but on Subterranean Exile they've delved into the more esoteric well of acts like Pagan Altar and Manilla Road to make a sound that's equal parts fresh and retro. The songwriting is more energetic than when I last heard them, and it's all thanks to the guitar work, which is nothing short of stunning. Every song is filled with rumbling riffs and searing leads that give the songs momentum while they develop over their runtime, and it's never anything less than astounding. I swear, I haven't heard old-school leads this good since Mythical and Magical, and that is not praise I throw around lightly.

As is common for something this defiantly occult and strange, the vocals are something of a sticking point, as they are of that very high and nasaly category that turns people off from this style of music. Personally, I say the manic delivery fits the music perfectly, and even if it didn't, there's nothing that can stop awesome songs like the title track, "Wizard's Revenge", the phenomenal "Master of the Night"... actually, this is the kind of album where I could just read the track list for highlights. Seems I have another band to play catch up with, and you do too after you listen to this. One of the best albums of last year that I missed.

More about The Wizar’d...
Review: Ancient Tome of Arcane Knowledge (reviewed by Mjölnir)
Review: Follow the Wizard (reviewed by Ulysses)
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