Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

An overwhelming experience on an EP - 97%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 9th, 2013

In the Vinyl Age, this recording would have been considered a full album at just over 30 minutes with each track taking up one whole side. Times sure have changed since then. The music on this EP though has a very steely hard-edged style that contrasts with and complements the trippy ambience and enervated vocals. The lyrics range from human desire for release from slavery and other cares of this world leading to escape and flight to apparent freedom that turns out to be a new form of slavery under the rule of Lovecraftian aliens, to another form of escape, this time an inner psychological one, which also results in a new form of imprisonment: a chemical one.

After a spaced-out and bubbly intro of guitar tone wobble reverb, the title track plunges straight into deep pile-driving bass rhythms and basically never lets up. The riffing anchors the entire track, rarely changing very much and supported by restrained yet powerful drumming and an abrasive guitar sound. Vocalist Oborn screeches out of equal amounts of exasperation and exhaustion leading eventually to fear and hysterical madness, while later in the track lead guitar races away on a speed trip all its own. The build-up from slow and straightforward traditional doom metal to a more layered psychedelic beast with berserk guitar work and a horror element is so gradual that the derangement of the song's climax is upon us before we even realise that we've been trapped by our own desire for liberation.

"Burnout" is a chuggier track, more retro and less doom in style and mood than the title piece, with an excellent sound especially in the lead guitar soloing. Vocals are roughly equal measures of Oborn's ragged singing and muttered spoken voice recordings of someone so doped up to his eyeballs in whatever combination of psilocybins and other chemicals that he is dead in all but physicality. The track dispenses with the singing pretty quickly and just before the halfway point ascends to (or descends into, depending on your point of view) another plane of existence where lead guitar solo supplemented by reverb, wobble and various other effects, and supported by a hard-working rhythm section concentrating on keeping time and bulking up the music, takes us all on an extended journey through a dark, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes terrifying inner cosmos. The whole thing reaches a climax about the 14th or 15 minute when it starts becoming a nightmare with swirling, ebbing and fro-ing music and effects.

Both tracks in themselves are such overwhelming mind-fuck experiences that the Wizardly ones were right to have put them out as an EP rather than on a full-length album: additional tracks would have been superfluous, listeners not giving them the attention they deserve; and if "Supercoven" and "Burnout" were any longer, they would be very exhausting. Other bands might have been tempted to overplay the songs, adding more sounds or studio trickery to them to exaggerate the mood and risking the songs' ruin through theatricality. It's hard to decide which is the better track of the two because they're different in style though their themes are similar: personally I prefer "Supercoven" because of the driving, surging rhythms, the Lovecraft / Cthulhu theme and the visual imagery the lyrics conjure up but "Burnout" musically has the edge as it's a perfect evocation of a junkie experiencing extreme side effects as well as the joys of his chemical addiction.