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Music / Electric Wizard

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Electric Wizard is a British Doom Metal / Stoner Metal band formed in 1993. Their style is slow, heavy and fuzzy, with lyrics typically involving marijuana, the occult, witchcraft, H. P. Lovecraft and horror films. They are generally considered one of the major bands of the stoner metal subgenre, though they also have sludge metal traits in their more aggressive material (such as Dopethrone).

Initially, the band was a power trio consisting of vocalist / guitarist Jus Oborn, bassist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening; in 2003, the latter two members left the band, leaving Oborn to recruit a new lineup, which included his wife, Liz Buckingham, as second guitarist.

The band is best known for their albums Come My Fanatics... and Dopethrone. Both are considered staples in the stoner metal genre with the latter of the two notably receiving a perfect score from AllMusic, a rating that the site rarely gives to modern albums, especially modern metal albums.

Current lineup:

  • Jus Oborn - vocals, guitar
  • Liz Buckingham - guitar
  • Clayton Burgess - bass
  • Shaun Rutter - drums

Past members:

  • Rob Al-Issa – bass
  • Tim Bagshaw – bass
  • Tasos "Tas" Danazoglou - bass
  • Mark Greening – drums
  • Justin Greaves – drums

Studio albums:

  • Electric Wizard, 1995
  • Come My Fanatics..., 1997
  • Dopethrone, 2000
  • Let Us Prey, 2002
  • We Live, 2004
  • Witchcult Today, 2007
  • Black Masses, 2010
  • Time to Die, 2014
  • Wizard Bloody Wizard, 2017

This band provides the following trope examples:

  • After the End: A common lyrical theme, usually unspeakable horrors or more cynically, our own destructive tendencies as the culprit.
  • Black Magic: Everything in "Vinum Sabbathi."
  • Burn the Witch!: "I, The Witchfinder" mixes this with Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Crapsack World: Electric Wizard albums are bleak and chaotic, with apocalyptic lyrics growled through a wall of distortion. No shortage of drugs to go around while we wait at least.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Not to these guys, at any rate. This trope is mocked in most samples that aren't taken from horror films, where a PSA clip about the dangers of drugs will get played. Cue ten-minute jams about tripping out on bud.
  • Drone of Dread: Arguably one of the first to incorporate this heavily into the Doom Metal genre. The thick, meaty sound of their amped guitars produces this effect, which is particularly heavy on Dopethrone, but is present to some extent on all of their work.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The ancient Yuggoth mentioned in "Weird Tales" seems to be one of the sleeping and soon to be awoken variety.
  • Epic Rocking: Most of their output, to the point where it's much, much easier to count the tracks that are less than five minutes in length. Amongst their full-length albums, the longest tracks are "Weird Tales" and "Saturn's Children", both around fifteen minutes in length. ("Dopethrone" and "Mind Transferral" on various editions of Dopethrone are slight subversions, each containing a hidden track after several minutes of silence, though they're both around ten minutes even without the hidden track.) "Burnout", from an EP, is even longer, at 18:38, as is the complete version of "Chrono.Naut", which runs for around seventeen minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song: In particular, the first three songs on Dopethrone do this, as do tracks 4-6.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The subtitle of "I, the Witchfinder" ("Las Torturas de la Inquisición") means "The Tortures of the Inquisition".
  • Harsh Vocals: A case where the degree of harshness varies not by the style, but the production. Oborn consistently uses something between a shout and a moan, which gets distorted to certain extents. In Dopethrone, for example, not only are the vocals fuzzy and reverberating, but are pushed so far back in the mix it sounds like they're coming from the inside of an inter-dimensional vacuum cleaner. Witchcult Today and We Live are heavily distorted, but put in front of the mix, making a keen listener able to understand what Jus's going on about. The first album uses clean, unmixed singing altogether.
  • Heavy Mithril: In the midst of the omnipresent Lovecraft worship, there's the odd song on other pulp fantasy fiction with a sprinkle of horror movie soundbites.
  • Hidden Track: A soundbite of Moral Guardians' panic about heavy metal music is placed at the end of Dopethrone, followed by an Evil Laugh. This provides Bookends to the whole album, since it opens with a sample from the same panic.
  • I Am the Band: Jus Oborn is the sole remaining founding member of the band.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: See Harsh Vocals above for how close the trope is played straight.
  • Instrumentals: "Mind Transferral", "Ivixor B/Phase Inducer", "Solarian 13", "Mountains of Mars", "Master of Alchemy", "Night of the Shape", "Raptus", "Black Magic Rituals & Perversions", "Crypt of Drugula", "Destroy Those Who Love God", "Saturn Dethroned"...
  • Loudness War: Their material since Come My Fanatics... has fallen under this trope, with Dopethrone being the worst of the lot (DR4 on the original, DR3 on the remaster). Vinyl versions tend to be significantly quieter than the CD / digital versions, though, as is usually the case.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "The Hills Have Eyes" isn't even fifty seconds long, though it's an excerpt of a longer jam.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: Where the death world on "Funeralopolis" comes from.
  • Ode to Intoxication: They're quite fond of weed.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: The cover of Dopethrone depicts either Satan or the titular 'Electric Wizard' smoking a bong.
  • Self-Titled Album: As seen above. Adding more to this example, the album has a title track (so, Electric Wizard - "Electric Wizard", from Electric Wizard).
  • Sampling: From Come My Fanatics... and onward, many songs in their discography have small samples from movies or PSA's at the beginning.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Being a stoner doom band, Electric Wizard tends to have a lot of shout outs to stoner, grindhouse, and pulp fantasy fiction. "Barbarian" is a song about, you guessed it, Conan the Barbarian. "I, the Witchfinder" is about the old movie Mark of the Devil.
    • The band's name comes from Black Sabbath — namely, by combining two of their song titles ("Electric Funeral" and "The Wizard"). A further Black Sabbath Shout-Out is the cover art to the EP Legalise Drugs and Murder, which looks very similar to that of Sabbath's Master of Reality. Wizard Bloody Wizard references Black Sabbath's album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
  • Signature Style: Loud, heavy riffs played slowly even by the genre's standards, with distorted, screamed shouts in a mix of Doom Sludge, with varying amounts of Psychedelic Rock.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: We're all doomed, eldritch horrors from space, black magic, human greed, or all of the above will do us all in, eventually.
  • Start My Own: Tim Bagshaw and Serpentine Path. And Ramesses, which also featured Mark Greening. Subverted with Burgess and Satan's Satyrs, as the latter was around well before he joined Electric Wizard.
  • The Stoner: And unashamedly so. They casually and often mention lighting bongs, or doing just that in interviews. Heck you can even hear them hitting it up at the end of some songs, as if zoning out to gear up for the next jam. If you pay enough attention, you can even hear them lighting up during "Funeralopolis".
  • Studio Chatter: Not much, but quite a few tracks start with some mumbles, creaking feedback, and tuning before the amps start blasting away.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: "Dunwich".
  • Title Drop: Partial drop of the band name, from the very start of "Barbarian": "The wizard!".
  • Trope Codifier: For sludgy, stoner-influenced Doom Metal. Indeed, it's all but impossible to find a fan of the above genres that hasn't at least listened to/been influenced by more than one of their albums.
  • Watch It Stoned: Only if you can handle the pummeling sound, which is disorienting enough while sober.