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Another Step in Another Direction - 91%

IrishDeathgrip, February 12th, 2008

When I first spun this album, I thought to myself "Ah, shit, what are they doing this time?" For, you see, Electric Wizard has a long history of jerking the listener's emotions around by moving from one atmosphere, to another, while still keeping fundamental identifying marks in the albums (these would be b-film references, the word "dopesmoke" in every song, and various obscure occult descriptions).

So, for me, this album began as a slight disappointment, because I was not expecting such sixties singin, over such heavy music.

Then I started actually listening to it... Makes a huge difference. You start to realize that some of the simplicity is what makes it great. Every single Electric Wizard album thus far has been completely unique of others, and this one is a fresh sound that I've not heard in other albums. The vocals are howls of an almost Sabbath tone, and sound like some ghastly stoner zombie yelling in ghastly stoner agony. Imagine it, people... it's there.

My favorite song has to be The Satanic Rites of Count Drugula, because it has one of the catchier choruses, some hilarious lyrics, and, as always, plenty of references to 'dopesmoke' (always written as one word).

Some of the music reminds me of what Jimi Hendrix would do if he were in a doom metal band, specifically the riff at the beginning of Dunwich. It just grooves, and grooves really help the sound of this album, since it has an altogether sixties feeling to it.

Now, the only real problem I have with this album is some of the 90-minute fade-out sequences in a couple of the songs (Witchcult, Drugula, Chosen Few). These can be a turn-off to someone who hasn't heard the album, and is trying to get a good feel for it. Fortunately, when you are better acquainted with the album, you find it less harrowing to the nerves each time.

All around worthwhile album, and definitely doomy. I'd say that, for some folks at least, this isn't an album you should judge by your first impression. Let it grow on you.