By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
In another manner of speaking, EW's Dopethrone is the doom metal equivalent of the Reinigung Gebiet, the German pure-beer standard: bitter and sulfuric to the point of unpalatability, but against which everything else seems watery. The bass shares lead instrument duties with guitar, which is freed to add the texture of a whirring pipe organ. Also greatly reliant upon scratchy, crackling improvisation over a loud drummer, Dopethrone owes as much if not more to Amon Düül II as to Black Sabbath.
And if you look past the code of metal accounting certifications to good qualitythe blandishments to "spree killing" and to "legalize" drugs, the gratuitous dirty poster of the biker-chick-to-the-Born-Losersthere's evidence of a sly, laughing appreciation of old-school horror. "Vinum Sabbathi," for instance, derives from Arthur Machen's Novel of the White Powder, originally a tale in which a student takes a prescription drug that turns him into a carbuncle-plagued thing of angry disposition. Electric Wizard give the story a purulent airing. "Weird Tales" is a drone-rock opera, of all things, quaintly devoted to some of the forgotten authors from the magazine of the same name. And for those really schooled in the trivia of the arcane, "I, the Witchfinder" borrows from the flick Mark of the Devil, a '70s fright that attracted junior high wannabe-proto-he-men types like me with ad copy promising the issuing of special sick bags to all prior to the screening.
Ugly in a magnetic fashion, Electric Wizard, as claimed by an overnervous fan, make metal to soil your pants to. Not badbut Dopethrone as modern music for readings of the ghost stories of Ambrose Bierce is somewhat less vulgar, more exact.
Electric Wizard play Continental March 5.