Monday, 23 May 2011

THE WIZAR'D Pathways Into Darkness (Barbarian Wrath)

Sometimes it's important that a band is from my home town or that I have some connection to them, and sometimes it's not. Increasingly I just don't have much time for the local Hobart scene, not that I dislike it by any means, it's just a bit hard to keep up with it all, especially when a night out costs so damn much. I pick the things I like to see and hope I gamble correctly. Shitty internet recordings and bad You Tube clips can confuse me far more than they can help, and sometimes I'd rather sit in the front bar of The Brisbane Hotel and talk to someone who isn't an idiot (although that is bloody hard).

Over the last while, something that did pop up on my radar as being pretty good locally has been The Wizar'd. Yes, there is a ridiculous apostrophe there. It's a clue. Most metal bands have a ridiculous umlaut. The Wizar'd aren't most metal bands, at least not Hobart metal Bands. In fact, to my jaded ears, they're probably the best one in town right now, having a good sense of the ridiculous nature of metal whilst being completely into it. Live, they're a hoot. Over the top costumes and pants around ankles in a glorious Carry-On tradition, mixed up with a venomous hatred of just about everyone else in Hobart makes for excellent entertainment. The sound is pretty traditional Doom, referencing all the touchstones – St. Vitus, The Obsessed, Pentagram, Witchfinder General and so on, with a good solid dollop of Evil Satanic Forces and Hatred in the lyrical department, but in an entirely 70s Uk Horror style. You get the feeling they watch more movies than they listen to metal records, which could only be a good thing in the end. There's a bit of punk attitude chucked in as well as a nod towards early glam rock – think the big riffs of T- Rex as opposed to the cartoon twattery of 80s Sunset Strip Lingerie Club shite (I am NEVER going to get that shit. Not even ironically. I could mount an argument that it's not even metal but I'll leave that one for now).
It's all skilfully blended, with the band's great strength being song writing and arrangement – none of them strike me as being particularly great players, but they have a good idea of what they want to sound like and do it very nicely thank you. Fine live band. Nice and hateful,  just the way it should be.  

The recording nearly does the live act justice, but not quite, and while it's a competent job, it's not the same. I've got a bit of trouble with the vast amount of echo on the vocals, which seems a bit overused and un-necessary – the snarling sneer inherent in the live delivery is a bit swamped and I miss it, I gotta say. The songs could have been thicker in sound overall but the clean aspect really brings out the solos which are for the most part pretty fun. What you do get is a good grasp of the song writing and whilst the influences are worn on the sleeve, I'd rather listen to this than a whole lot of Nu Punk, Nu metal or Nu anything. It's good angry music that makes me want to drink beer and tease goths, and that must be a good thing. If you live in Hobart, go see The Wizar'd next chance you get, simply because a good band is a good thing, and buy the album just to hear competent song writing, because it's bloody rare in any genre these days. Don't believe me? Nick off over here and there's a couple of mp3s, although given that it's Doom, and somewaht Bass-y,  they are a bit lame sonically, although you'll certainly get the idea and feel compelled to buy the album.

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