The Wizar’d – Pathways Into Darkness   Leave a comment

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Hailing from Hobart, Australia you couldn’t live in a more un-doom type situation but that is exactly where the band “The Wizar’d live which gives them more reason to play Stoner-Doom and piss people off with their musical monolithic rumblings. The story is that they are regarded as crap by the majority of the “metal” fans in the area and are completely at odds with all other Metal bands and fans in the entire state of Tasmania. How true this is, i really don’t know but if it is true it shows the real dedication and passion they must have for this type of music. That passion is obvious in their new album “Pathways Into Darkness” which is a step up in quality after the last album they did called “Infernal Wizardry” which was a pretty good release anyway. A large part Stoner and Traditional Doom and smaller but significant part “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal”, they have their influences displayed proudly in the grooves on this recording. Add to that some cheesy “Hammer Horror” for inspiration and you get a sound that could be classed as Australia’s version of The Lamp Of Thoth. The only real bummer about the album is the running length, only 33 minutes which is pretty disappointing for a full length release.

There is very little in the way of originality on this release but from what i know about the members, they couldn’t really give a s**t. They play because they enjoy the music and really don’t care what anybody thinks and that also comes out in the songs, they really sound like they are having a blast making this music. The album starts with the title track “Pathways Into Darkness” which is a slow, crushingly heavy slab of groovy Stoner Doom with memorable riffing, even though you get the feeling you have heard the riffs before, it still makes you think this band could be huge in the underground one day (just maybe). The big step i mentioned comes in the actual song-writing, the title track and others don’t rely so much on droning riffs like the previous album did. It’s more concise, catchy but very heavy songwriting on these songs and “Pathways Into Darkness” is up there with the best tracks on the album. “Disease From The East” is the perfect follower to the opening track continuing in a similar vein while the next track “Rainbow’s End” is where the album really reaches a peak and stays there till right up the final seconds of the album. Its a prefect hybrid of Traditional Doom and early 80’s metal sounds that mesh together in a inspirational track. The musicianship has also taken a giant step forward, everything seems tighter than it ever was before.

“Frankie’s Dungeon” is the albums apex, the top of the mountain you could say. A mini epic at 6 minutes, the song is total mournful heaviness and the solo from O’l Rusty is blistering. “Living Dead” is short, straight to the point with a punchy, infectious riff. If there was to ever be a single lifted of the album, it would be this one. “Some Like It Dead” on the other hand is just crushing, plain and simple again with riffs that sound familiar but killer at the same time. The song is a little long for the limited musical ideas but still very effective. The final track “Agents Of Misfortune” is too short for its own good and i mean that in a good way. When you have something cool happening, you should keep it going longer than this but oh well, who am i to complain anyway. “Pathways Into Darkness” is a simple enough album to be called basic but played with a passion and a feel of a band that knows how to put together a good tune. The nasally vocals of Ol Rusty will still put some people off the band, i dig his voice myself but it is obvious some folks may find it a little grating to the nerves. The Wizar’d have mastered the old-school approach to heaviness and if you dig Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Candlemass and the before mentioned The Lamp Of Thoth, you will dig this album. They mix good old heavy music with a quirky sense of humor not to mention the obvious taste for a beer or ten. Its too short for a album but i guess that just means you have to play it even more. This is only their second full length album but their ninth recording overall so they obviously have no shortage of ideas and riffs in their black metallic blood. Worth investigating. 8/10

The Wizar’d@Myspace
Official Page

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Posted May 27, 2010 by doommantia in The Wizar'd

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