The superb English doomsters Electric Wizard are back with another monstrous slab of slow, brain bludgeoning riffs and grooves, fuzzed to the extreme and laced in sumptuous psychedelic overtones. Essentially, doom metal doesn’t get any better than Electric Wizard. Past releases such as “Come My Fanatics” and their generally regarded peak, “Dopethrone” slay the rest of the doom/stoner metal field. While recent albums such as “Let Us Prey” and “We Live” are outstanding works when compared to the hundreds of lacking bands in the genre, the new line-up (new from “We Live”) needed something to surge them back to old form. “Witchcult Today” does exactly that.
There is not a second wasted on “Witchcult Today”. Like “Dopethrone” and “Come My Fanatics” I can just spin the album without ever wanting to skip. The one-two punch of the title track and “Dunwich” is blistering, with the title track flowing through various powerful grooves, riffs and an infectious chorus. “Dunwich” picks up the pace a little, again blasting through superb riffs and another excellent vocal melody in the chorus. Thankfully the band decided to keep this relatively up-tempo song at a reasonable pace, something disregarded in the last two albums with two overly fast tracks that just sounded messy and out of place. Slow brooding doom is what the band does best, and it doesn’t get much better than “The Chosen Few”. The songs menaces its way classic EW riffs and culminates with a haunting vocal harmony laced with one of the album’s most infectious riffs. “Torquemada 71″ reminds me of “We Hate You” from “Dopethrone” thanks to its simplicity and resulting accessibility. My favourite riff on the album and an equally compelling chorus hook makes this song the album’s would-be lead single…would-be, if there was a popular chart for doom and stoner metal that is. After the atmospheric and often psychedelic flow of “Black Magic Rituals” the album closes with the excellent “Saturnine”, which thunders through a catchy main hook and ends with an all-out jam full of fuzzy soloing, trancelike sounds and atmospherics and of course a driving groove to earth it all.
This is exactly the album I wanted Electric Wizard to make. Gone are the questionable experiments, replaced by unapologetic, classic EW. Fans of the band’s old material should absolutely love this release. The doom masters are back!