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A Transitional album done right - 90%

we hope you die, March 22nd, 2019

Bournemouth’s Electric Wizard, the self-styled 21st century Black Sabbath, are often perceived as a one trick pony, but it just so happened to be a very enduring trick. ‘Come my Fanatics’ (1997) and ‘Dopethrone’ (2000) are held by many up as their crowning achievements. Followed by a slight misstep with the confusing and dirgey ‘Let us Prey’ (2002). But for my money, 2004’s ‘We Live’ was a stonking return to form and is often overlooked. This is largely due to its position in the chronology of Electric Wizard’s career. ‘We Live’ being sat between the earlier dark and fuzzy stoner, and the later polished sound, informed by heavy garage rock as much as stoner doom.

But ‘We Live’ combines the best of both worlds, and as a result is a contender for their heaviest and most coherent album. The guitar sound is heavy and meaty, but the fuzz has been clipped back for the sake of more clarity. The result being that we can actually hear some riffs, which may at times drag out ad nauseum, but I appreciate Jus Oborn’s minimal but aggressive approach to stoner refrains. Drums are given more weight this time around, headed up by one time Electric Wizard skin basher Justin Greaves. His ability to move from plodding rhythms to out of control fills lends a primal energy to this album. From scaffolding to jazz without being a distraction.

But perhaps the vocals have undergone the most marked change. It’s no secret that Oborn does not have the strongest voice. On earlier works this was masked by keeping it low in the mix and heavily distorted in production. He’s not afraid of just maniacally shouting his way through verses at times, which is serviceable but not mind-blowing for this heavy, bluesy doom. But here we see the beginnings of him flexing his clean singing muscles. He sticks to long sustained notes and repetitive chants of two or three syllables, but it works for Electric’s Wizards brand of ritual stoner doom. The music is made to be repetitive, to numb the senses. One is reminded of their mantra: ‘Turn off your mind’. And that, essentially, is what this music is trying to get you to do. Through oppressively heavy and frustratingly simple riffs and mesmerising yet simple drums, the mind is beaten into submission and forced to simply sway along to the riffs.

But ‘We Live’ is a much loved album in my collection. There are enough critics and cheerleaders for Electric Wizard at large, but this album is often overlooked, sandwiched as it is between two very distinct eras in this artist’s history. Ignore it at your peril.

Originally published at Hate Meditations

Change of direction and style to stay vital - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 12th, 2013

After a period of member departures, a US tour gone awry and other problems suggesting internal band tensions, a reformed Electric Wizard centred around the core of vocalist / guitarist Jus Oborn and new second stringer Liz Buckingham issued the live "We Live" as a way of underlining that EW were here to stay and intended to push on in spite of all that had happened. Previous recordings had combined equal amounts of traditional doom metal and stoner rock psychedelia with a thick, fuzzy, distorted sound and bleached vocals; no doubt some of the band's problems were about whether the music should head more in a doomy direction or on a more stoner rock path. On "We Live", Oborn and company leave us in no doubt at all that they're a doom band first and foremost, the stoner stuff has been left behind forever.

The main difference between the new EW on "We Live" is a fairly clean production with clearer and more confident-sounding vocals placed more upfront in the mix. The guitars still have a sharp edge and are deep but sound more streamlined and metallic and less oozing-magma thick and grimy. Although fans may be disappointed at the idea of a "cleaned-up", even more melodic and commercial-sounding Electric Wizard, the cleaner style does bring Oborn's singing to the fore and throws more emphasis on the band's songwriting abilities. This is a way of demonstrating that Oborn's commitment to EW is stronger for all that's happened to him and the band in the past. The overall result too is an album with more musicianship and one more accessible to new listeners who don't necessarily care about the band's mixed doom metal / stoner psych past but perhaps less atmosphere.

Enter the grand juggernaut of a song "Eko Eko Azarak" as the album's opening track: a soaring vocal that welcomes a new day and a new ritual, accompanied by crashing beats and a sonorous bass tone rhythm. The drumming becomes thunderous in the latter half of the track and there's soaring guitar feedback drone too. Although it's a busy song, "Eko ..." does feel quite spacious and unhurried. "We Live" has a different, more hostile feel and the vocal sounds very different from what it is in the preceding track so I assume that in the live situation the songs didn't necessarily follow in the order they do on the album. This is a highly repetitive song and any variations in it are to be found in the details of the effects that dart in and out of the background behind the riffs. "Flower of Evil aka Malfiore" has a lazy and decadent air as the sludgey metal trudges along. The drumming can be quite complex in parts and the musicians all manage to keep in time together despite giving the impression of constantly falling apart. "Another Perfect Day?" starts as the fastest track on the album and possesses power, urgency and energy in equal measures; later it slows down to become a haughty and majestic doom epic beast with a hard crunching rhythm. The rest of the album holds up well though the songs seem to have a bit less individuality: "Saturn's Children" is on the verge of losing focus at times and probably goes on for longer than it should with parts almost a throwback to the Electric Wizard of all in the multi-tracked vocals. "The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue" (a bonus track) is a very fast track but the rhythm is so thick it sounds overdone.

Shorn of their trippier psychedelic trappings, EW here is an uncompromising doom metal outfit with a strong, almost overpowering style that includes sludge doom, maybe a bit of hardcore and some drone elements. The album signifies that there'll be no going back to a dreamy, trippy happy-hippie-go-lucky past. Some fans may be unhappy about that but it's a necessary thing for bands to reconsider their direction and style if they're to remain vital and creative.

A New Era - 90%

CaravanoftheBizarre, December 23rd, 2009

After surviving numerous shows gone awry, problems with the law and substance abuse; Electric Wizard—or rather Jus Oborn—returns with an entirely new lineup, a cleaner, more refined sound and (gasp) clean vocals. Released after the experimental Let Us Prey, many fans were curious to see whether EW would return back to their signature “lovecraftian drug-cult sludge” sound or follow in uncharted new direction. Although it left some fans disappointed, Electric Wizard chose the latter and went down a more traditional doom path.

The first change the listener would probably notice is that the guitar tone is no longer the mind-altering, void of horror that previous classics Dopethrone and Fanatics boasted so flawlessly, but a hazier, traditional sound with a large quantity of feedback and distortion. This, in my opinion, works well for the Wizard, because instead of hiding behind a wall of impenetrable sound, it forces the band to write interesting and well developed songs in order to keep the listener’s attention: however, some songs may feel a bit dull on some listens due to the overall length and lack of energy shown in the instruments. Eko Eko Azarak, for example, starts out great, but after the vocals end, the guitars plod on for quite awhile with repetitive chord strumming that feels a bit uninspired.

The next two noticeable changes in this album both involve the vocals. First, the transfer from dense distorted shrieks to cleaner, more drawn out yells. And second, the change from a secondary role to a primary focus. I, for one, favor the cleaner vocal style present in We Live because, to me, it conveys more emotion and atmosphere while still allowing the guitars to have a prominent role in the overall sound. A great example would be the fifteen minute epic, Saturn’s Children, it contains an emotional by Jus after the six minute mark that always manages to take me places unknown in my conscious (strange, I know) but it feels very spacey, unique and consistently impacts me on every listen.

The rhythm section, for the most part, is pretty standard, not much to say, but nothing really stands out too much. The lyrics, on the other hand, are great! The lyrics vary from misanthropy (Another Perfect Day) to the apocalypse (The Sun Has Turned to Black) to revenge beyond the grave (We Live). The lyrics are simple, but very effective and tend to build the atmosphere very well; they also fit very well for Jus’ new voice and always seem to flow without sounding awkward or forced.

The songs themselves are very mesmerizing and will often keep the listener intrigued, whether it is the hypnotizing verse of Malfiore, or the pummeling title track, it never lets you go and intends to take throughout the whole journey. But, Electric Wizard isn’t complete without a barrage of earth shattering, so how does this outing compare to previous releases? Well, although the riffing may not be as strong as their other albums, We Live contains some very great riffs, my favorite being the jazzy, upbeat doom riff that starts Another Perfect Day, it is heavy, quick and in a way calming; however, some riffs tend to be standard chord progressions, which actually works very well in most songs, most notably in The Sun Has Turned to Black. Also the solos have improved greatly, gone is the mindless noodling that plagued previous albums, now the solos can stand on their own and contribute to a song’s overall feel, with the obvious example of Saturn’s Children’s dramatic ending solo that is drenched with feeling and psychedelia.

The atmosphere in this outing is stranger than any other Electric Wizard release; it changes frequently and can make you feel strange just listening to certain songs. For example, Eko Eko Azarak makes me feel like I’m in an alien airship traveling strange, distant galaxies; it feels very alien and eerie in a unique way (drugs recommended). While a song like Malfiore, feels like you are taking a stroll through a dense, murky swamp complete with a mysterious fog and other-worldly plantation. Of course, this is Electric Wizard we are talking about; meaning drugs may play a large role in how you interpret the sound, although you do need to be intoxicated to find enjoyment or atmosphere in this album.

Overall, We Live is a very strong release and is a welcome addition to EW’s discography. It marks a new era for the Wizard that contains many positive attributes that, in time, will be improved in future releases, and hopefully, helps other bands realize that change can be good.

Got Something To Prove, Got Nothing to Loose - 89%

The_Evil_Hat, August 10th, 2009

Electric Wizard is a band primarily known for one album. Unlike most bands in such a position, however, the Wizard isn’t content to merely remake and dilute their classic. Instead, they change themselves on every release, sometimes in slight ways and sometimes with drastic overhauls. Their first three albums seemed to be evolving each time, a process that ended with the penultimate Dopethrone. After that the band seemed to want to reinvent their sound a bit, and as a result released the more experimental Let us Prey, a brave, if sometimes flawed, album. We Live feels almost like the continuation and maturation of its predecessor, different from the Wizard’s prior works, but clearly the same band nonetheless.

The primary sound here is more traditional doom than ever before, with the more stoner groove passages generally toned down. On the whole this is a more calculated, restrained Wizard than ever before, one that knows precisely what it wants to do. This is probably the band’s least dark album, focusing instead on an equally effective spacey, surreal vibe that it pulls off solidly.

This album has by far the cleanest guitar sound that Electric Wizard has used since their debut. The notes are now easily distinguishable, a far cry from the ever prevalent dope haze that dominated Come My Fanatics… and subsequent albums. This album marks the beginning of Liz Buckingham’s time with the band, and her contribution definitely shows. The guitar parts are far more intricate than on previous albums, though, make no mistake, the riffs are still slow, Sabbath derived, and brilliantly heavy.

The addition of a new second guitarist, and the more complex parts that resulted, has a somewhat averse effect on the bass. New addition Rob Al-Isssa seems content to merely follow the guitars for vast majority of the songs, though it’s more the absence of an up side than a downside in itself. The new drummer, Justin Greaves, is a very welcome addition to the band. Outwardly his style bears many similarities to his predecessor, but he’s far more active, dominating the soundscape often and admirably.

Due to a mixture of no longer being the sole guitarist and developing more confidence in his abilities, Oborn’s vocals are more up front than they’ve ever been. They’re now wholly clean and treated to only the slightest, occasional touch of reverb. For the most part they’re nothing short of stunning, although the rare strain does enter his voice in one or two portions. The lyrics are, thankfully, included once again and are more than up to par, the opening verse of the title track being a good example:

“Fist cracks the earth,
Coffin womb for rebirth,
Betrayed by the living.”

The album opens with Ecko Eck Azarak. The main riff is excellent, and the lyrics are suitably evocative, but the song is truly made by the haunting, slow cry of the title. This and the following track both make far more successful use of feedback as an intro than A Chosen Few, marking the perfection of the technique for the band. The following track, We Live is one of the album’s highlights without a doubt. The main verse riff features hard hitting notes that match up with the vocals, creating a much more in your face style of heaviness than Electric Wizard’s ever used before. Considering the song’s subject matter, it’s more than effective. Flower of Evil features highly spaced out riffs and feedback, and also boats some of the most emotional sounding singing on the album.

The second half of We Live begins with Another Perfect Day? This song features a fascinating cross between highly misanthropic lyrics and some of the most up tempo music that Electric Wizard ever produced. Despite the speed, the mood is maintained perfectly. Like many tracks on the album, almost all of the lyrics are used up in the first third or so and the rest of the track proceeds instrumentally. This track, and the following one, is interestingly lyrically for starting with more plausible passages:

“Today I stopped and stared,
I realised I just don't care,
A chasm black and wide,
Between me and mankind”

and then adding references to the supernatural.:

“I've walked this earth 1000 years,
Seen the pain and the tears,
An outcast all alone,
Take me back beyond the sun....”

In all likelihood it’s simply coincidence, but I found the progression fairly interesting, not to mention a suitable target for overanalysis. Moving away from any insignificant lyrical trends, The Sun Has Turned Black is a decent Wizard song, notable primarily for the over-repetitive nature of the verses.

Saturn’s Children closes the album. It’s one of the band’s longest songs, and as such it’s fitting that it’s also one of their most epic compositions. The buildup is long and powerful. The entire song feels highly majestic, albeit more in an ‘a really awesome dragon flying through a cloud of bong smoke’ way than a ‘my, what an impressively regal figure that dragon makes,’ kind of way. The whole thing is slow and unhurried. While it may go on for a touch longer than is strictly necessary, it’s hard to complain when the riffs and vocals present are this strong. The ending of the track, consisting of solos and effect addled guitars, is a near perfect closer to the album…

…which is why, if you happen to have the reissue, it’s somewhat annoying that they mess that up. You get the track The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, a successor to We, the Undead on the previous album, in tempo, at least, and also sharer of many of that songs weaknesses. I would say it’s stronger, quite a bit, actually, but it’s still nothing to the album that precedes it and dampens the satisfactory conclusion of Saturn’s Children.

We Live is probably Electric Wizard’s least Dopethrone-like album, excluding the self titled. While many of the techniques may be similar, the end result and atmosphere vary considerably. While I generally prefer the darker, heavier Wizard, this album is a triumph that most certainly shouldn’t be missed.

The Wizard's Finest - 97%

unclevladistav, November 24th, 2008

We Live was a pivotal record for Electric Wizard (more importantly, for frontman/vocalist/guitarist Jus Oborn). Longtime members Tim Bagshaw and Mark Greening had just departed, leaving Oborn 2 options: reassemble the band many agree is the heaviest in the universe, or leave it and move on.

Oborn, thankfully, chose to continue on with Electric Wizard. In doing so, he recruited drummer Justin Greaves, and bassist Rob Al-Issa. Oborn also made a new and rather surprising choice: bring in a second guitarist, Liz Buckingham. This was perhaps the best decision made in along time. In recruiting a second guitarist, Oborn allowed fresh ideas and riffs to enter the fold. A second guitarist also gives him more freedom to make riffs more complex and interesting, as it would have been more difficult to do before and cover vocals at the same time.

So, the changes were good, and thankfully, the album went the same way. We Live is six songs of heavy, mournful doom at its finest.

An aspect of We Live that I am very much a fan of is the production. Gone is the incredibly dirty, over clipped mixing seen used fully on Dopethrone and Come My Fanatics... Make no mistake: this doesn't mean the production is "clean". Don't expect the worst- this is not the shitty modern production that every listener of true metal despises. While not incredibly dirty and numbing, the production still maintains a great murky, muddiness.

Another aspect of We Live I enjoy is the guitar tones. On Dopethrone and Come My Fanatics..., Oborn had an incredibly heavy, distorted tone. This time around, he and Buckingham seem to favor an older, more retro fuzz sound (undoubtedly turned to 11). As a result, the individual notes seem a bit easier to pick out, resulting in a clearer listen that remains heavy as fuck.

When it comes to Electric Wizard, not much needs to be said about riffs. They remain true here, being repetitive, slightly bluesy, and heavy as ever. In fact, the addition of another guitar has, in my opinion, increased the overall heaviness. Bassist Rob Al-Issa seems fairly audible, and routinely follows the guitar riffs, yet again increasing heaviness. Drummer Justin Greaves does a great job with keeping time, also manages to add little fills and build ups which help to add variety and an inventiveness seen only with the best drummers in doom. Earl of Void would be proud.

Vocally, Oborn is at his best yet. On past records, he has been known, while producing, to not completely like his vocals, responding with "Bury that shit." This is not the case here. Finely done, Oborn's vocals are completely audible, understandable, and at times, catchy. See "Eko Eko Azarek" for an example of catchy, yet doomy lyrics:
"Black pyramids under martian sun,
Priests chant ancient necropsalms,
Summon winds across the desert sands,
Sun sets on this dying land.

Black ships tear through martian skies,
Earthbound send by sorcerous flight,
13 years through black depths of space,
Ancient race seed this cursed place."

In short, We Live is the Wizard's finest album. Their combination of excellent riffs, great production, lyrics, and vocals, along with the general feeling of impending doom, makes this an incredible listen. Pick this up now: this is essential doom.

The Wizard Lives On. - 90%

Perplexed_Sjel, July 8th, 2008

Four years have passed since everybody’s favourite British crossover act, of this nature at least, issued perhaps their most successful record to date, ‘Dopethrone’. This doom and stoner crossover had really taken hold on ‘Dopethrone’. The inspiration that smoking dope all day long brings seemed to have the best possible outcome on the music of Electric Wizard. In the beginning, there were numerous concerns over the direction and style of Electric Wizard. They entered the metal world with trepidation and from there on, for at least two records, they sounded unsure of themselves, unsure of their abilities. It was becoming clear to see that Electric Wizard would begin to operate in the future when ‘Dopethrone’ was released. It marked a number of positive changes. These included better direction, a higher sense of innovation and an all round improved performance. No longer were the band appealing in one or two departments only, but in all. Whilst both genres, doom and stoner, are notably slow, Electric Wizard’s approach made them seem distant and lazy in the early stages of development. ‘Dopethrone’ seemed to be the start of something special, the band were really beginning to take shape and unfold into a spectacular and supreme act of British music. They seemed to have matured. ‘We Live’ is the fifth drug induced trip down to stoner’s paradise and once again, Electric Wizard have shown marked improvement. The once erratic and uninspired sound has long since dissipated into nothingness and has been replaced by limitless potential. ‘We Live’ is, to me, the most significant product of Electric Wizard. Various line-up changes have occurred and whilst the musicians who have left were beginning to improve on the last record, the replacements are already hitting form right from the offset. On drums, Mark Greening has been replaced by the strong willed Justin Greaves. On bass, Rob Al-Issa has taken control from Tim Bagshaw and finally, the most important new addition, Liz Buckingham as the second guitarist.

With numerous changes in line-up, Electric Wizard are distinctly different in sound. ‘Dopethrone’ isn’t as accessible as ‘We Live’. There are numerous improvements because of the line-up changes, which were a smart move by the band. Jus Oborn, the only surviving member from the original line-up, is back and bigger than before. His voice is ever so commanding. It grapples with the emotions of the audience and hypnotizes them into feeling how he wants us to feel. The true beauty behind the newly improved Electric Wizard is the simple fact that there are now better musicians operating at the controls of the band, bending and shaping it’s sound into whatever form they want. ‘Dopethrone’, whilst being the most creative and effectively innovative record, is not quite up to the standard of ‘We Live’. This record is by far more deserving of praise, to me. Positives, well, there are a few. Jus’ voice has grown in stature, once again. Take the epic title track, ‘We Live’. His voice is incredibly powerful. From beginning to end he commands centre stage and portrays the essence of Electric Wizard in an almost ironic manner. His voice is not only electric, but it has a mystical tone to it. His voice has a special ability of being able to weave in and out of the instruments, especially the guitars, another important improved area. It is no secret that using two guitarists allows a band to be more experimental in sound. There were occasions on previous efforts where Electric Wizard would sound flat, or jaded. No longer is that an issue. Liz Buckingham is a very competent guitarist, I assume she plays the main leads and Jus supports her, leaving him to focus mainly on his vocal exploits, which have improved because of this. Due to the fact that Liz can concentrate the efforts of the guitar on soundscapes, rather that trying to overshadow, Jus can concentrate on his most valuable asset to the band, his voice. The passion, pride and desire to succeed shine through in his voice. On previous efforts, it always seemed like he knew that his voice was the only major asset the band had at that stage, but now, with the new musicians brought in, Electric Wizard have upped their game and it shows significantly. His voice portrays the lyrics with raw emotion and that gives the lyrics themselves more feeling.

“Can't fucking die,
Can't fucking win,
Got something to prove,
Got nothing to lose.

You hoped I was dead,
But I'm born again,
I shall be avenged,
Cold blooded revenge.”

In some ways, I see the title track ‘We Live’ as a metaphor for the bands revival under the new members. Whilst the reputation was beginning to become set in stone, the latest arrivals have given the bands name a new meaning. Lyrically, Electric Wizard possess a fine ability to be able to portray the themes precisely and well. The lyrics aren't overdone, or clichéd. Passion has been restored to what was once a lazy outfit. The song, to me, suggests that the band are back and bigger than ever. They appear to be more rejuvenated now than on the most loved effort, ‘Dopethrone’ which marked a new era for the band as well. Whilst ‘Dopethrone’ lacked in fast moving songs, ‘We Live’ has no problem with picking up the pace, which is slightly unusual for the band as their sound mainly consisted of slow to mid paced tempos. The new drummer, Justin Greaves, is more explosive. His regular use of the high hat and blaring snare attacks show this to the adoring audience. The drums and bass were often overlooked before ‘Dopethrone’, but ‘We Live’ has altered that. Bass is a constant source of enjoyment for the audience. It’s low sound is reminiscent of Electric Wizard on yesteryear. Whilst the band have gradually moved away from a slower sound in their first three records, ‘We Live’ aims to put the life back into the heart and soul of Electric Wizard with immediate effect. The emphasis is much more underlined. Take ‘Another Perfect Day?’. This is perhaps the fastest Electric Wizard song to my knowledge. It’s jazzy guitar lead, followed by a backing riff which ebbs and flows behind the scenes, Electric Wizard seem to have better control over the direction of songs. This song, for example, is catchier than we’ve ever heard Electric Wizard be before. It’s much more experimental with tempos, especially on drums which often has a good use of double bass, than ever before and finally, the soundscapes are interestingly varied. There is a mixture of aggressive songs, laid back lullaby’s and monstrous moments on each instrument, especially drums. The production is clearer than ‘Dopethrone’ also. This is pivotal, to me. The likelihood of catching something that may have been missed on previous efforts is lessened by the improved song writing and much more ideal production. To me, ‘We Live’ is the best effort out of the first five and the title track is the best song out of the lot.

I wish I could make myself enjoy it more... - 70%

IrishDeathgrip, March 13th, 2008

From the beginning of this record I could tell there was something missing, but I could not put my finger on it. Eventually I realized what it was... it's so cleaned-up, so dry, without the swampy, hazy atmosphere that usually surrounds a Wizard record. There is not one bit of ambience surrounding any section of the music that doesn't bore and/or anger me. Wizard can do better... I know they can, cause they've done it on every release.

To understand what I mean you have to look at all the changes... If you knew someone who didn't have any idea who Electric Wizard was, you coud turn on 'Come My Fanatics' and they may say "That RULES!" But a few minutes later you could turn on 'Let Us Prey' and they could be simply disgusted. Well, it works that way with all of their albums. Everytime another Wizard comes out, there's a few HUGE differences.

So, here's what doesn't strike me about this record... we've already covered the dryness, but let me elaborate with some references. Listen to the aforementioned Let Us Prey. That album has too much of what this album lacks... You know that sound of lots of low-leveled drone? A feeling that you are unsure where they just went with the guitars? Yeah, well that was helpful with this band and their edge. But it's all gone here... they play straightforward doom, and not of the best caliber either. If this were a record by someone else, I'd probably throw the rating up somewhat, but I'm holding it to Electric Wizard standards, and We Live just isn't cutting it.

We Live has Jus Obourn throwing in some (more or less) clean vocals, which haven't really been prominent since Come My Fanatics... and at times they sound really good, but believe me, he is struggling.

The drums are almost going to make me hike up the rating, because that drummer may as well have written the music for the band... He knows what's gonna happen, and when, and he fucking owns it. There are parts where I think his drums actually decide where the riffs go, and I tell you, the man can write some doom.

Unfortunately, this album is only a little better than the first Wizard album. The problem with that is the 4 successfully improved albums, and 2 slightly better EPs that have come since said debut. I hope the follow up to this album is awesome...
...oh, right. It is.

Electric Wizard - We Live - 90%

hellhammered666, October 24th, 2006

Electric Wizard - We Live (2004)

After 'Dopethrone' was released in 2000, Wizard seemed to have hit their creative peak with riffs heavy enough to crush the ribcage of a baby sitting next to the speaker. 'Let Us Prey' came out without raising too many eyebrows, then Mark Greening and Tim Bagshaw (drums and bass respectively) left in 2003. This left Jus Oborn to rebuild Wizard, and judging by this album he did a hell of a job recruiting new blood.
Less psychedelic than any previous album, 'We Live' is much more focused on the intricate doom riffs of Oborn and Liz Buckingham, Wizard's new guitarist and Oborn's wife.
This album is deceptively the first time Electric Wizard has had two guitarists (Oborn is a wizz with a loop pedal). The two guitarists give room for some awesome riff patterns and solos, with the lyrics creating eerie images of ancient mythology, b-grade horror movies and depression stemming from drug abuse.

The noise is just relentless, truly doomy, a masterpiece if you love your sludge. It lacks the atomic-heaviness of 'Dopethrone' (think of that baby's ribcage with the title track), but this is still a roaring monster tearing your speakers apart. The sound is still brutal, but with a more complex edge to give it a more mature feel.

Justin Greaves, Mark Greenings replacement, has some very impressive fills, particularily around the end of 'Eko Eko Azarak'. Unfortunently the bass (Rob Al-Issa) gets a bit lost in the mix, but overall the sound is tighter than a nun's cunt. This album needed to be good to ensure a future for Electric Wizard, and it more than impressed me. As a hardcore wizard fan I was worried how this would turn out, but now this is my favourite album (Yep, even over Dopethrone - just).


just by this fucker!! - 90%

krozza, November 11th, 2004

By all reports, Electric Wizard was a virtual train wreck after the disastrous US tour of 2002. Bassist Bagshaw and drummer Greening walked upon returning to the UK, leaving core dopester Jus Osborn to pick up the pieces. Kind of a blessing really - with the addition of ex-Iron Monkey skinsman Justin Greaves, bassist Rob Al-Issa and second guitarist Liz Buckingham (ex Sourvein and 13), Electric Wizard Mark II has turned out to be a much stronger and more cohesive unit. The resulting product is ‘We Live’, a simply monstrous ride into the oppressive world of doom metal. Few bands do it as well as this outfit. ‘Dopethrone’ and the ill-fated ‘Let Us Prey’ are undeniable in the establishment of EW as a monolithic doom force. However, I hasten to add that ‘We Live’ might just be their crowning achievement. Maybe it’s because of the tighter musicianship, the thoroughly delivered production and the more accessible, cleaner vocal performance of Jus Osborne. Or just maybe, it’s the improved songwriting and the hint of melody buried under those gargantuan mammoth like riffs that takes ‘We Live’ to unexplored corners of the doom universe. Electric Wizard has this uncanny ability to make their music surge and ooze like an unstoppable lava flow – everything at sloth like speed – but with similarly dramatic and deadly results. ‘We Live’ is a truly inspired sounding doom album – clearly the injection of his new members has born Jus new motivation. Unlike the unpredictable nature of his previous incantation, Electric Wizard is now a fully laden, firing on all cylinders, inexorable doom machine. And quite frankly, ‘We Live’ is as good a doom metal album that you’re likely to hear. Until their next one!

Punishingly heavy, cleaner vocals is a + - 90%

returntrip, July 19th, 2004

Ok, I'm surely a "fan" reviewing this new CD by Electric Wiz. I was hoping on this new one that the vocals would be more on the clean side, basically less distorted. yay, my wish came true. Aside from that though the riffs on this album are very heavy, and perhaps even more haunting then on the previous releases. The drums show great strength here. They are very present and make the album more of a crusher for sure. All in all...all the songs on this CD crush/kill/rock. The new lineup is quite exciting to say the least, and the artwork for this album is just great. If I had to pick a favorite song off WE LIVE I'd say it was Another Perfect Day?. It has a few elements in it that I don't think Electric Wizard has jumped into thus far. It has some stoner "rockish" moments, other than being the slow and heavy daze Electric Wizard has been known to be masters at in the past. If you're a fan of Stoner/Doom/Sludge I totally recommend this album. EKKOOO EKKOOO AZARAK!!!