"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Electric Wizard - "Witchcult Today" (CD)

Electric Wizard - "Witchcult Today" CD cover image

"Witchcult Today" track listing:

1. Witchcult Today
2. Dunwich
3. Satanic Rites Of Drugula
4. Raptus
5. The Chosen Few
6. Torquemada 71
7. Black Magic Rituals & Perversions
8. Saturnine

Reviewed by on February 5, 2008

"the descent into the occult, weed psychosis and doom-mantia begins"

After a period of line-up changes and experimentation Electric Wizard returned in 2004 to produce the solid "We Live", with just main man Jus Oborn left as an original member. 2007 saw them launch a new heaviness on the world in the form of "Witchcult Today".

The album starts of with a familiar monolith of a song "Witchcult Today" followed by the more upbeat Lovecraftian-themed track "Dunwich". Together these tracks set a theme of particularly heavy doom-metal with the old-school vibe and inspiration still shining through. If that's you then read on; the descent into the occult, weed psychosis and doom-mantia begins.

As the album progresses, you will no doubt find the volume knob creeping ever higher providing the neck swaying lethargy that only doom metal can produce. Although the Wizard's formula hasn't changed greatly from "We Live," "Witchcult Today" benefits from that with an emphasis on monumental riffs and a rolling wall of distortion. The production is excellent and ensures nausea inducing bass tones for your neighbors as that volume knob reaches 11.

"Satanic Rites of Drugula" sports one of the most colorful titles your bound to find in your collection and aptly sums up the obscure occult lyrical content. "Raptus" gives us a short interlude reminiscent of drone act Earth before the doom parade trudges on in the form of the brilliant stand out track "The Chosen Few".

One of the greatest triumphs of the album is avoiding the pitfall of many a past doom band. Electric Wizard were obviously not satisfied in letting the album peter out into uninspired Sabbath worship. The second half is just as solid as the first and the doom Wizard truly shows it's handle of the riff with a mix of clever harmony and peppered solos. Another strong point is the album's cohesiveness. In particular, the band knows when to
amp up the riffs and when to enter the dark ambient trance of tracks like "Black Magic Rituals & Perversions." While this album won't dethrone "Dopethrone" in the eyes of fans, if you enjoyed 2004's "We Live" then "Witchcult Today" will do anything but disappoint.

If I had one gripe to make with the album it would be Oborn’s vocals, which have in part lost the clean singing in favour of a more nasal speech tone. However this is really a comparison to previous efforts, and considering the second half of the album sees more present vocal lines this simply can't blemish a truly solid hour in the history of dooms most ardent doomers. One must simply bow to the distortion of the Witchcult.

Highs: Stays true to the spirit of doom without sacrificing originality

Lows: Not a huge leap from previous albums, ever so weaker vocals

Bottom line: A truly solid album worthy of any Electric Wizard fan's collection

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)