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Electric Wizard : Witchcult Today

Witchcult Today should mark an interesting period in Electric Wizard’s history, as it is embracing the new while still clinging onto the old. The album is recorded on vintage audio equipment from the 1970s’, which produces drugged-up tones, muddier than ever before. Yet, despite going retro in the sound department, Electric Wizard’s songwriting seems to be embracing newer territory.

Witchcult Today is by far the band’s most accessible album since their 1995 self-titled. The songs are shorter in length, Jus Osborn’s vocals are clear and understandable, and the riffs are universal. I could see people who never listened to Doom or Sludge really digging this album, which is good for Electric Wizard. It’s good to broaden your horizons and attract new fans.

The H.P. Lovecraft and obscure horror film influences remain though, and show themselves in ‘Dunwich’ and ‘Satanic Rites of Drugula,’ the former being a hit. If there ever was such thing as a 'hit' in the Doom world, ‘Dunwich’ would be it. Super-catchy with an eerie, occult-inspired riff, hypnotic drums, and a great chorus sung by Jus Osborn, you'll have this one on repeat.

But there’re criticisms. A lot of critics are hailing this album as the best Electric Wizard album in the past seven years. I disagree. I prefer my Wizard a little meaner but Witchcult Today is a still a great album. It’s a must own for any fan of the band, but has flaws when it comes to the songwriting.

Five of the eight songs are extremely similar: ‘Witchcult Today,’ ‘Satanic Rites of Drugula,’ ‘Chosen Few,’ ‘Torquemada ’71,’ and ‘Black Magic Rituals and Perversions,’ all begin with a lone guitar that strikes a single note, descends down the scale, and then kicks in when the band joins in. It’s ambiguous whether or not the repetitive nature of Witchcult Today is a conscious effort of creating a motif throughout the album, or whether the new line-up of Electric Wizard still isn’t perfectly gelling. Either way, the album is still highly enjoyable and is a new sound for the band. You should probably pick this one up.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Witchcult Today
2. Dunwich
3. Satanic Rites of Drugula
4. Raptus
5. The Chosen Few
6. Torquemada ‘71
7. Black Magic Rituals and Perversions
I. Frisson Des Vampires
II. Zora
8. Saturnine

Duration : Approx. 59 minutes

Visit the Electric Wizard bandpage.

Reviewed on 07-07-2010 by Mark Breckles
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