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Terrible albums' getting overrated is not an uncommon thing. But occasionally some of those are hailed as classics, and that is completely puzzling. Electric Wizard's Dopethrone is a prime example of such a case.
Utterly worthless "music," and yet such a high praise... The truth is that this is most definitely not a classic. This is really an anti-classic, showing how crappy music can get.
Heavy. That is the word that always appears when somebody describes this album. This isn't exactly as light as a feather, I'll give you that, but I will never understand how people can really think this is heavy at all, let alone "the heaviest ever." Sure, the guitars are heavily distorted, but that does not make the tone heavy (it sounds like an inflated balloon, taking up much volume but not having anything solid inside), and even if we assume that the guitar tone is heavy, that does not actually make the music heavy, right? Guitar tone is a part of heaviness, not heaviness itself. Genuine heaviness requires heavy riffs and heavy drumming as well - which this album lacks. And this large amount of distortion is not exactly a good thing because it really contributes to further burying the already boring riffs - and the riffs are like a cross between early Sabbath and early Marilyn Manson, but just more boring and slower than either bands' riffs. They also frequently add extra noise with flange effects, which are just as pointless as the purpose of this album - except the point of adding an extra dimension of annoyance, if you want to call it a "point."
As if that were not enough, everything else pushes the boundaries of pointlessness. The rhythm section is really just there, not doing anything besides providing a constant beat. Okay, at least that is better than not having any bass or drum. But the solos are absolutely atrocious. I would rather listen to tech death or prog metal bands just playing the scale really, really fast than listen to these. If those solos are nothing but speed, then these solos are nothing but annoyance. If you don't have any idea about how to write a coherent solo, just leave it out! This seriously would have been better without the solos (actually, this album would have been better without any music at all). Thankfully the solos are very much buried by the excessive distortion, but still they manage to annoy me more than any technical wankery ever could.
Did I mention songwriting? Oh, I just did. Now, that is one word that should not be mentioned in a review of Dopethrone, and I deeply apologize for mentioning that. Since I did mention it anyway, I will do my best to talk about it: it isn't there. There, that's all it needs to be said. This is just a collection of mutually indistinguishable riffs, each one just as boring as the one before, that just keeps going on and on. There maybe are choruses and bridges and all that stuff, but they might as well do away with those, because if there are, then they are hardly recognizable anyway. This music is incredibly loose - about as loose as guitar strings would have been had one tuned down as low as Electric Wizard does on a normal guitar. There is no climax, and it just drones on and on. This music goes nowhere, but not in the sense that it goes somewhere completely random. This literally doesn't go anywhere. It just goes in circles (and a pretty small circle at that) from where it started, alternating between one point of boringness and another, with the incredibly monotonous vocals adding to the one-dimensionality of the music that drives you crazy. It feels like the band is just jamming in front of you, without any thoughts about writing a coherent song. There are some useless and very, very long "ambient" parts that really test your patience, too. The sad thing is, even if you manage to sit through this terrible boredom, what waits is the actual music, which is much more annoying. So, while this "ambience" is really a terrible idea in itself, it actually comes off as one of the high points of the album, because the actual music is so low. Roughly speaking, if the music is a negative ten, the ambience is a negative five. Both are bad, though one is better than the other.
You know the noise that your television makes when it is not working, right? Listening to this is about as much a musical experience as listening to that noise for an hour (and looking at the cover art would be like staring at the gray screen). This album is absolutely worthless and does not have a single good moment or a single good element. Dopethrone is a sonic trash, deserving to be thrown away into the nearest trashcan.