Britain’s Electric Wizard are back after a five-year hiatus with Time to Die, and they sound angry! They have a penchant for taking dense, heavy riffs, and grinding in some psychedelic atmosphere to create a hellish mix. Justin Oborn‘s reverb-laden vocals, combined with Liz Buckingham‘s monolithic, Iommi-esque riffs, will leave you drained but wanting more.
Time To Die loosely follows the story of satanic murderer Ricky Kasso, also known as The Acid King. While it’s definitely not for the fainthearted, the story forms the perfect template for a doom album. “Incense for the Damned” opens with the sounds of running water, maybe to relax you a bit before Electric Wizard emerge with a wall riffs. The heaviness is intense. This segues into the title track, which boasts fuzzy, retro guitars recalling Blue Cheer. Oborn’s vocals take a haunting tone during the chorus while singing, “Wake up children, it’s time to die.” “I Am Nothing,” clocking in at over 11 minutes, is what all doom/stoner bands should emulate. The melancholy, misanthropic feel is overwhelming, submerging listeners in the repetitive riffs. “Destroy Those Who Love God” is a stepping stone into my favorite track here, “Funeral For Your Mind.” It is no less heavy than the previous tracks, but it is a bit more uptempo. “We Love the Dead” is riff-filled, and it drones on for over nine minutes. “SadioWitch,” although one of the shortest songs on Time To Die, is also one of the best. The riff is torn right out of the book of Black Sabbath, but it still sounds fresh. “Lucifer’s Slaves” encapsulates modern doom in its eight-plus minutes, and the album’s outro, “Saturn Dethroned,” has a dirty, Opeth-like feel to it. The grinding organ is never overbearing, but it still maintains an evil atmosphere. If anything, it is a bit mellower than the rest of the songs, bringing the album full-circle to the same babbling brook that started this adventure.
Electric Wizard have been around awhile, but they have really never quite fit in, even in the metal realm. Things are different now. Time to Die is their masterpiece, and it cannot be ignored.
Time to Die is out now on Spinefarm Records.
Rating: 5/5 Stars