Wizardzz Hidden City of Taurmond

Lightning Bolt fans beware: Wizardzz, the side project of Bolt bassist Brian Gibson and Bug Sized Mind keyboardist Rich Porter, is about as far from the Bolt’s dynamic metal contortions as imaginable. For one, Gibson takes up drumming duties for Wizardzz, with Porter adding all kinds of fantastical synthesiser swoops and melodies, but foremost, this debut is about as whimsically prog rock as open-minded experimenters as these could get. Brief, quirky, synth-led jaunts with titles like "Sea Battle at Orkusk” and "Ambushed by Time Quagga” add all sorts of strange dimension to this fairytale of an instrumental album (only brief non-language voices rise up from within this musical kaleidoscope). Reference points include Bo Hansson’s Lord of the Rings and even Genesis’ A Trick of the Tail (no, I’m not joking), but Wizardzz have certainly crafted a playfully inspired journey in Hidden City of Taurmond that is as far removed from any co-existing modern worlds or trends as, well, Lightning Bolt must have sounded when they first started bashing down ear drums in the late ’90s. Sadly, this strange and fanciful affair feels destined to be lost on most fans of Lightning Bolt, or even Load Records for that matter, but as a unique testament to fantastical imagination, it will certainly stand the test of time. (Load)