Electric Wizard Witchcult Today

Through almost 20 years, major line-up overhauls and eardrum surgery, Electric Wizard bandleader Jus Oborn has weathered all doom metal storms, returning to the scene after three years with Witchcult Today. Alas, this chapter of down-tuned gloom takes a step backwards into more monotonous fare, with the first three tracks (including the catchy "Dunwich”) bleeding into each other indistinguishably. "Raptus” is a brief collage of spare chords and faux freak-outs, and "The Chosen Few” revisits the tedium of the initial trio of songs. The Eyehategod-esque swing of "Torquemada ’71” chronicles the accomplishments of Spanish Inquisition figure Tómas de Torquemada, and Sabbath-inspired soundscape "Black Magic Rituals & Perversions” features backmasked voices, Italian incantations and tribal drumming. The 11-minute "Saturnine” changes the pace a bit by injecting a spacier, albeit repetitive, Monster Magnet vibe. With the psychedelic doom classics Come My Fanatics and Chrono.Naut but a distant memory, Electric Wizard’s myopic opprobrium is only repressive enough to induce weeping in small children. (Candlelight USA)