3/31/17 – Electric Wizard “Dopethrone” (2000)

Electric Wizard is an English Stoner Doom band, and Dopethrone is their most well known release, and their most lauded. For many, this is the pinnacle of Stoner Doom- if it’s not this it’s Sleep’s Jerusalem/Dopesmoker. If you’re looking to branch into other forms of metal music, this is a good starting place. Stoner Doom incorporates lots of heavy bass and fuzz to create a drone-like guitar that surrounds you in a heavy wall of sound.

Dopethrone is slow and heavy, like a lot of Stoner Doom to come. Thick and heavy bass and slow and methodical drum-work back the colossal guitars. In the background is Lus Osborn, shouting nihilistic lyrics. His voice is also distorted and distant, something quite unusual but they make it work. The noise takes the center stage, even over the singer.

The apex of the album is I, The Witchfinder, a song so slow and grimy it makes the 4 previous tracks pale in comparison. The guitars and drums sound somehow louder on this track, and they just keep building to the chorus that becomes a beautiful hurricane of noise. The main riff is very infectious and headbang worthy but it doesn’t compare to the title track Dopethrone. It’s just as massive as I, The Witchfinder, but more hypnotic. Both songs are 10+ minutes long, and at the end it feels exhausting, but a good exhaust. A lot like drone and harsh noise, the sound just completely surrounds you, and that’s all  you are experiencing.

Mind Transferral feels like a good conclusion to the album, going over all the bases covered by the album, while still offering some just solid heavy material. Truth be told I’m not always in the mood to listen to this album, but when I am, it is firing on all cylinders. I just love the deep, deep heavy bass and monstrous sound they are able to put out.

 

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