Black Wizard

New Waste

Written by: BV on 12/02/2016 19:42:14

It’s funny to browse through the almost never-ending pile of material sent for review to this site. Some band names just jump out at you and practically yell what kind of music lies behind, whilst others have a distinctly neutral, almost puzzling characteristic to them. Black Wizard most definitely belong to the former category as there is practically no doubt where they want to take things from here. Surely enough, their album “New Waste” contains riffs derived from the church of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and Pentagram, ripe with utter worship in an attempt to stand on the shoulders of these giants whilst delivering their own, distinct variation on these sleazy, doom-laden riff stylings.

They fare relatively well from the get-go with tracks like album opener “Revival” – which is oddly enough the same word that keeps popping up in my mind whenever I hear this type of music. It is a revival. Even though the genre is far from dead, there is a distinct revivalist label on this music, somehow making it very clear for most parties involved that these guys – rocking hard as they are, you’re never quite convinced that they are quite as good as those ‘untouchable’ legends as they seemingly worship. It’s actually almost a pity that I too seemingly pin that label on them immediately when tracks like “Laughing and Lost” and “Vivian Girls” both cut through with an intensity seldom heard, in spite of the riffs being fairly derivative and, well, traditional in their own right. What seriously needs to be praised is the general tightness of the band which ensures a spot-on execution of these groove-laden, at times almost prog-tinged tracks. What I find lacking, however, would most definitely be the vocals. Although this is clearly a matter of personal preference, the vocals just don’t seem to match the overall muscle of the riffs – making them stand out as weaker than they might actually be.

“The Priest” is a fast-paced face-melter whose equal I find it hard to spot on this particular album. Coupled with the sheer ferocity of album closer “Final Ripper” these two are the album’s definitive highlights both in terms of general riffing, songwriting structure and overall execution. On these tracks the band moves temporarily out of the long, comforting shadows of their legendary inspirations to do something that sounds more akin to their own musical vision. However, two splendid cuts among an album of otherwise relatively bland, uniform stoner-infused doom metal do not make for a great album. - An acceptable and generally pleasant one, sure, but not a great one. It feels like watching that surprisingly good support band before the headliner you’re really excited for. It’s all very nice, but mostly forgotten by the time it ends. – As others have already noted before me.

Download: Final Ripper, The Priest, Vivian Girls
For the fans of: The Order of Israfel, Black Sabbath, Orchid
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.02.2016
Listenable Records

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