Time To Die
29 September 2014
I’ll say this for Electric Wizard, at least they haven’t tried to ‘go political’ or anything. Bless them, they’re still obsessed with killing, weed, Satan, witches, Lovecraft, weed and more killing, which is great. They’re in their, what… 40s now? And they haven’t grown up at all. There’s no better band in the world when it comes to all this stuff, and Time To Die is full of it.
Let it also be known by the way, that this is a much better album than the last two records, Black Masses and Witchcult Today. Maybe it’s because their old drummer Mark Greening came back (who’s now been promptly sacked again, because nothing screams SATANIC more than a P45) but Time To Die has a bit more of the tar black slow doom of their earlier days in it, as opposed to the relatively (note that I said relatively, we’re not talking happy hardcore here) bouncy heavy garage band stuff that was on the last two records. This is a good thing, as after We Live (which I reckon – hold on to your butts – might be their best album) I can’t help feeling they lost some of the misanthropy and nihilism that made their earlier stuff so bloody good. They became a bit more theatrical, and sort of got rid of the hostile and insular doom of their early days. There’s nothing better than knowing a man hates absolutely everyone and everything while he’s playing molasses slow riffs on a Gibson SG. Time To Die gets some of that back at least.
Only some of it though.
It pains me to say, this isn’t a complete return to form. There’s some of their best stuff in ages on here for sure. First track ‘Incense For The Damned’ has a big old Phantom Of The Opera style riff and is terrific daft fun for a near enough ten minute doom song. ‘Time To Die’ jams too, and ‘I Am Nothing’ is what got me all excited for the new album in the first place, along with the album title itself actually (Time To Die made me think we were getting a full on return to the musical equivalent of staring into the abyss, and the abyss looking back and calling us dicks). It’s almost We Live-tier in bits. There are some suitably evil segue tracks too which lull you into thinking ‘yessss, they’ve got their shit together.’
But then stuff reminiscent of the last two albums flies in again during the latter half. The retro stuff that probably influenced a litany of pricks dressing like 70s idiots with feather boas comes in and ruins all the good drone-y work they do on Time To Die, and suddenly my interest in the album tails off. It doesn’t help that some of it sounds… recycled? ‘Sadiowitch’ sounds like a half-arsed bastardisation of Black Mass and Venus In Furs.
Maybe it’s me though. I miss how dense and violent the earlier albums were, and how pissed off Jus Oborne sounded. There’s enough of that stuff here for me to give Time To Die something of a recommendation, especially in comparison with their other newer stuff, but maybe I should accept that the dudes that made the peerlessly huffy and apocalyptic Dopethrone are no more. Electric Wizard aren’t three alienated guys from Dorset anymore playing songs about how much they really really hate everyone. They’re now a four piece with a constantly revolving line-up that sing songs that sound like the plots of films you recorded off Channel 4 at three in the morning 15 years ago during some 70s exploitation night. Which now that I think of it sounds pretty interesting. Although not as interesting as wanting the world to end but WHATEVS.
Time To Die? Time to buy vintage VHS horror stuff in a Shoreditch piss dungeon more like. Oh well.
Sounds Like: Electric Wizard. Duh.
Standout Tracks: : Incense for the Damned, Time To Die, I am Nothing.