Wizard Eye – Orbital Rites   Leave a comment

Sometimes new, underground bands are able to create awesome sounds and atmospheres or to induce an irresistible push to headbanging and hard consumption of sweetly scented weed as if they were playing successfully and being in the drug trade since ages …

One of my personal very recent discoveries, and a band maybe not so elegantly but surely effectively defined as “f****ing awesome” by those who listened to them sofar, is Wizard Eye, from Philadelphia, PA.

These US guys had spread their early tunes in the blogosphere in form of a two-track demo at the beginning of this year but I was fully infected by them only through their debut full-length, the 2010 Orbital Rites, very recently shared on Bandcamp.

Well, for me this album is one of the best concentrations of sickest, raw, smoked-out, psychedelic, doomy, southern, desert, spacey, stoner raaaaaaewk heard and fully enjoyed since a while.

Wizard Eye is from presently made up by Brother Erik (guitar/vocals/theremin), Brother Dave (bass/vocals) and Brother Rich (drums/percussion), but this is just the present-day line-up.

The band’s bio has been written in a variety of ways on the various band’s webpages.

Here is the band’s own long bio as reported on their Last.fm page:

“In a perfect world, the Wizard Eye band biography could be nothing more than the above sentence. But the music world wants to know more, doesn’t it? It needs to know histories, aspirations and influences. It has to know how many “scenester points” the band can boast and whose names it can drop. Sorry, music world, but you’re just going to be a little disappointed, because Wizard Eye doesn’t play those games. The technical facts about this band are there for all to see—formed in late 2007, Wizard Eye comprises four like-minded brethren whose combined experience includes almost two decades of music performance ranging up and down the East Coast of the United States at countless venues ranging from New York City’s finest showcase rooms to down-and-dirty basement parties in the kudzu fields of Raleigh, NC. And, of course, it’d be incredibly easy to invoke the usual riff-rock royalty bands as musical comparisons, but if you’re looking at these words, chances are pretty good you can hear the kind of sounds coming from Wizard Eye and draw your own conclusions.”

But the short versions, reported on myspace, are very effective as well and say what is essential, in the band’s view: “We make drug rock, and play it very fucking loudly”, or else, “Loud, down-tuned, psychedelic, riff-based, heavy rock n’ roll”.

On Facebook you can get more insight into this nice band’s bubbling activity, as there are many announcements and cool photos of the live exhibitions by this heavy smoky trio. And you can also see the amazing length of the singer’s dreadlocks!

Anyway, back to the tunes …

The band has being sharing their full-length album Orbital Rites on Bandcamp for free.

Free as these guys would like to see the deliciously scented weed they might, let’s say, take inspiration from, if one has to judge by the deeply stoned sound of this smoke-saturated album …

Music-wise this album literally “smokes”.

Tunes and riffs are absolutely great, mind-blowing, yes, dangerously inductive of a colourful, joyful chemical trip! The sound in general and the guitars are downtuned, distorted and poisoned with that amount of “dirty”, raw tone that I always long to hear in every stoner to doom to sludge album. I’m not particularly fond of lo-fi sound but I do love dirty raw sound, making you feeling the sweat behind, when the “situation” requires it! And there are some great guitar jams knitted over that dirty guitar base … Ah …

Wizard Eye’s sound is dirty and raw but it is extremely well produced: you hear instruments nicely, you are wrapped by a rich sound, you get “the feeling”, you are plunged into the “atmosphere” straight away, you are made thirsty of more tunes …

And the vocals? So great and perfectly fit for the raw tunes! It’s like hearing a mixture of mighty Lemmy, Dave Sherman’s vocals in Earthride and laid-back Phil Anselmo in Down: dirty, gritty, raw, alcoholic vocals which are perfect for this music devoted to drug-addicted metallers, yeah!   

On myspace Wizard Eye listed some sources of inspiration and influences: “boogie vans, 1965-75, white panther party, sweet leaf, tube amplification, russ meyer/roger corman, motown, tab, theremin, hubble telescope, various nebulae, black holes, alternate realities, 4th and 5th dimensions, datura, the result of two mirrors facing each other…”

Well, yes, the music by these stoned guys is definitely mind-warping and “vintage” like their sources of inspiration and, in part, their electronic sound equipment (e.g., the theremin device). That’s probably why the band indicated on Bancamp that their new album was released on the 18th December 1974, after being “written, produced, engineered and recorded at the Wizard Eye space with painstaking love and minimal gear by the Wizard Eye Brothers”, eh eh …

As you see, I’m not going through the album track by track, I let you discover and enjoying these rich tunes and their trip by yourself.

As I wrote above, the album had been shared for free on Bandcamp, until the download rate surpassed the initial limit of 200 free downloads per month since people became aware of how awesome these guys are.

Bandcamp is now charging 5 US$ for the download. On Facebook the band wrote that they are bargaining with the website and that the download will be soon free again. So you can either wait, or look for the album in the web or else just make the 5 bucks effort for getting hold of this badass album …   …………………………………9/10

Wizard Eye @ Myspace

Wizard Eye @ Bandcamp

Review Written By Marilena Moroni

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Posted December 14, 2010 by doommantia in Wizard Eye

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