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End the world of which you despise - 92%

zeingard, December 2nd, 2007

Electric Wizard have always been a rather off-kilter band, helping to pave the way for a more groove-oriented and psychedelic influenced doom metal alongside the quintessential stoner band Sleep, as a result their music has always been monstrously heavy, fuzzed out and as a result rather inaccessible. Despite this they've gained quite the following and when such a prolific band releases an album like "Witchcult Today", over a decade after their initial formation, you can see why; they're a fucking solid band. They pay no heed to trends and such; they just like to get stoned off their tits and rock the fuck out which is pretty fuckin' metal really. "Witchcult Today" is yet another strong release, and whilst they've definitely turned down the amps and stopped Jus Oborn from slurring through a sheet of aluminium when he sings, they're still pumping out some heavy as fuck stoner doom. Most notable is the sheer catchiness of the songs on this album, they haven't compromised song length but I'll be damned if the chorus to "Dunwich" won't burrow headlong into skull and rape your tender cerebral flesh with its infectious grooves and catchy lyrics.

"Dunwich" has more than just a catchy chorus however, the main riff being massively heavy but so simple you will never forget it and no doubt you'll end up humming it to yourself time and time again. The overall riff construction for the song rather adept actually, this can probably be attributed to the song have a respectable amount of momentum to it which allows for the riffs to unfold one after the other with smooth transitions. "Satanic Rites of Drugula" has potentially the most awesome song title ever written, simplistic stoner puns are hilarious no matter what substance you're on. Whilst being a step down in speed the intensity of the main riff is put up to 11, this combined with Jus Oborn wailing "BLOODLUST! DRUGLUST! COUNT DRUGULAA ARIIIIIIIIIIISE" in the chorus makes for easily the best song on the album. If that wasn't enough the meandering psychedelic solo is transcendental to say the least; it's movement through the last legs of the song conjure images of rolling smoke going from peaceful laminar flow into a spiralling, out of control turbulent mess with no sense of direction, momentum propelling it forward with little regard for it's destination. "The Chosen Few" has a similar style of lead guitar work throughout the entirety of the song which provides an amusing but intellectual juxtaposition to the rather minimalist riffing and repetitive lyrics. "Torquemada 71" is a strong track with some rather inane lyrics about inquisitions, countess bathory and similarly themed whacked out shit.

To be frank, there are few weak spots in this album. "Black Magic Rituals and Perversions" continues the tradition of an ambient track coming out of left field, for the whole cult-theme of the album it makes sense but clocking in at around 11 minutes is overkill. Some may feel the songs are too short when compared to previous releases or that the guitar tone has weakened too much, and at times I agree because nothing beats "Dopethrone" when it comes to epitomising stoner-doom at it's most ludicrously heavy and most 'stoner' sounding, except perhaps "Dopesmoker" but that's neither here nor there really. Most importantly though is that with this release Electric Wizard aren't attempting to be revolutionary nor do they reinvent the genre, it's a case of a prolific band simply reinstating their outright fucking awesome-ness with yet another album that makes the more over-rated releases of 2007 soil their lace panties and scurry away into the shadows.

When you listen to "Witchcult Today" you're getting one solid slab of stoner-doom that does not fail to live up to the reputation that Electric Wizard has established over the many years they've been playing. The riffs, the lyrics, the instrumentation; they're all there in full force and nothing falls short of the mark. If you enjoyed the other fantastic doom releases of 2007 from High on Fire and Candlemass, then this is yet another album you can add to your collection with little fear of regret.