Electric Wizard Black Masses

Electric Wizard Black Masses
Continuing their definitive brand of doom metal bolstered by sludge and stoner highlights, British monolithic heavy music minstrels Electric Wizard offer delightfully few surprises on seventh album Black Masses. Where many bands of their ilk might sink into the depths of predictability after almost two decades of mining such a rudimentary style, as this eight-track affair asserts, the quartet's ability to wring gripping chug riffs and loose rhythms out of their tight confines is still quite virile. When the band tinker with the formula, it's always within the aforementioned parameters, refining the mixture to create even greater performances. Modestly psychedelic, thanks to the inclusion of tinny, Butthole Surfers-esque guitar squeals, recording values that favour low frequencies and a cacophonous clashing of overriding instruments, as opposed to crisp ringing and perfect metre, a chilling, cryptic feel permeates many of these oppressively lumbering songs, ensuring that for its entire hour, we are willing participants in this black mass. (Rise Above)