After a brief hiatus, stoner/doom metal mainstays Electric Wizard are back with their sixth full length album, Witchcult Today. As one would expect, the band is once again pumping out bottom heavy and sludgy riffs reminiscent of Black Sabbath, but with a little more spacey riffs and rawer production than before. The results are excellent, and though fans may say that Witchcult Today still doesn’t match 2000’s Dopethrone, this doesn’t mean that the album is any less of an addictive listen.
Electric Wizard consistently manages to produce extremely noisy doom riffs that few bands can match up to. In addition to this, they are also one of the few bands that can pull off Black Sabbath esque riffs without sounding like a classic or dated stoner band. One thing that distinguishes Electric Wizard from the rest is their droning sound, which lets songs go on for up to 11 minutes at times. The only major flaw with Witchcult Today would have to be the mixing job, as the drum work seems to get lost in the sea of low hums coming from both the guitar and bass.
Vocalist Jus Osborn has slightly distorted his vocals, making them sound as though they are in the background rather than being in the front. Though this may sound like a bad thing, it works to Electric Wizard’s advantage by placing the emphasis on the droning instrumental work and then adding droning melodies behind it. Osborn isn’t necessarily the strongest singer on the market (and I’m sure fans realize this), but his singing adds that extra bit of polish needed to keep Witchcult Today intriguing and interesting throughout.
Is Witchcult Today Electric Wizard’s best album yet? I, much like many other listeners of the band would certainly say that this latest release doesn’t quite live up to the standards established by Dopethrone in 2000. However, the group is certainly getting close to that level once again and has once again written an album that is heavy as hell and enjoyable. Whether it’s their best or not, there’s no doubt that Electric Wizard still eclipses most of the other stoner/doom metal bands out there right now.
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