Electric Wizard, evil doomslayers who would legalise drugs and murder if they could, first released 'Let Us Prey' in 2002. It was their fourth record and the follow-up to their renowned genre centrepiece 'Dopethrone', continuing the onslaught of punishing riffs and raw, relentless drumming. The record's been out of print for half a decade but it's now getting a reissue by Rise Above.
Double LP £19.99 RISELP074
Deluxe vinyl reissue 2LP on Rise Above.
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An Electric Wizard record is best evaluated under two criterion: how misanthropic is Jus Oborn feeling, and how sick are his riffs? ‘Let Us Prey’, the band’s fourth record, came of the heels of some of his hottest hate and most incredible guitar synergy, so it’s hard to get tremendously psyched; it feels like he’s rising up from the depths of hell against his will, the riffs peaking and creasing but never quite leaving the same bong-crushed highs of ‘Dopethrone’. The record’s opener concentrates more on creating an obscured, apocalyptic atmosphere, with vocals stifled in the mix to sound monolithic but forever distanced from the listener, and riffs that slowly integrate into the song’s foreground.
The band’s shortest work ever, ‘Let Us Prey’ feels like something of a transitional record, if Electric Wizard had ever changed up their sound from pure and filthy doom rock -- in fact, the record sounds like Electric Wizard fulfilling duties, and doing them with admirable efficiency. The most exciting moments on record are usually those that happen between the oblivionized stoner jams, like the drum fill that trickles down in part two of “Master of Alchemy”, which is so good it stretches out into its own, punishing segment. It’s worth shouting out “Night of the Shape”, too, which remains one of Wizard’s most uncharacteristic works, bringing in processed violin and twinkly piano that converts the torrential doomslaying into ominous prog rock. In that moment, it feels like Oborn is recognising the impact ‘Dopethrone’ has had on the genre and his own work, four years after the fact. For the most part, though, he remains unperturbed by what us mortals think, and continues to grind us down ‘til we’re nothing. The riffs aren’t quite as good, but being second best is no easy feat.
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