Posts Tagged ‘Wizard Rifle’

Svart Records – 30th August 2019

Christopher Nosnibor

The Portland two-piece described as purveyors of ‘noisy metal’ haven’t wasted time on naming their third album, which lands five years on from 2014’s Here in the Deadlights, and have instead focused on the contents and rendering it as maximalist as possible. There are a fair few duos around at the moment who manage to conjure a full-band sound. It’s impressive, but how do they do it? Big amps and lots of pedals is the usual answer, but with these guys, there’s got to be something more. I mean, the sound is huge. In fact, no, it’s way bigger than huge. Alchemy. It’s gotta be.

The album’s five songs are all at least seven minutes long, and are, without exception, hefty as hell riffmongous monsters, the noisy metal style being very much of the sludgy stoner persuasion, with Melvins being the most obvious and appropriate touchstone. But they’re no half-arsed style appropriators: there’s a lot going on here, and there’s a slew of other elements in the mix. Punk and psychedelia may sound like an awkward combination, but they pull them together effortlessly, along with a dose of really gritty thrash.

‘Caveman Waltz’ doesn’t sound like it’s actually in waltz-time, but steps up from a lumbering knuckledragger of a riff to doubling the tempo halfway through and thrashing out an uptempo throb with spiralling lead fretwork weaving a sonic mesh over the thumping percussion as the vocals go full-throated holler mode.

And they’ve got tricks galore up their (wizard’s) sleeves. The twelve-minute ‘Funeral of the Sun’ melds black metal and prog to create an expansive piece that rages and snarls but also features moments of rich atmosphere and strong melody.

Closer ‘V’ drives in hard with the most overtly thrash riff, but the vocals go all psych and the lead line is mathy and then… my head’ spinning with all of it after just a minute and a half. Nine minutes in and it’s all over.

You’ll likely often read that metal is running out of ideas, and that doomy / stoner / sludge has become a predictable parody of itself. And it’s not entirely untrue. But then an act like Wizard Rifle will present themselves and completely smash all preconceptions with a blend of killer riffs and wild innovation. Here, Wizard Rifle prove that there’s still a lot of ground to be explored through permutation and hybridity, delivering an album that’s solidly rooted in familiar territories, but at the same time explores new ground and doesn’t sound quite like anything else. At least, nothing I’ve yet heard.

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Wizard Rifle – Wizard Rifle

Portland, OR noisy metal duo Wizard Rifle who will release their 3rd album on 30th August through Svart Records, are streaming new track ‘Rocket To Hell’.

The band comment, “This sonic stew encompasses all the usual elements of Wizard Rifle: gut-punching, down-tuned sludge punk riffs interwoven with psychedelic overtones and triumphant builds with vocal harmonies and dual yells. Lyrically the song is much like a hangover from a thousand-year orgy of global greed. It deals with the shortcomings of mankind and the individual in the face of the apocalyptic consequences of its self-created extinction. Take the ride; strap in and blast off to this seven-minute rager.”

Stream ‘Rocket to Hell’ here:

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Wizard Rifle emerged from the metal groundswell of Portland Oregon in 2009 bent on annihilating the complacency of genre pigeonholes and throwback tropes. Their elusive sound contorts and leaps from sludgy and psychedelic, to thrash, noise and beyond, accented by vocal harmonies and shouts. On first listen, many scoff at the possibility that such a cacophony could be produced by just two band members, but seeing is believing the force that is Wizard Rifle, and skeptics become Kool-Aid guzzling disciples before the altar. Are you next?

Teaming with Nanotear Booking, Guitarist/Vocalist Max Dameron and Drummer/Vocalist Sam Ford have delivered frenzied live shows extensively across the US and Canada including appearances at SXSW, Psycho Las Vegas, Sabertooth, Hopscotch, Crucial Fest, and Musicfest NW. They have shared bills with the likes of The Melvins, High On Fire, YOB, Lightning Bolt, Nick Turner’s Hawkwind, Danava, and SubRosa, and hit the road with Bongzilla, Buzzov*en, Black Cobra and Church of Misery to name a few. Their two full length releases, 2014’s “Here in the Deadlights” and 2012’s “Speak Loud Say Nothing” have drawn great praise and kept critics and fans on their toes. Their upcoming self-titled LP, due out this summer via Svart, pushes the boundaries even further with the aid of metal mix guru Billy Anderson at the helm of the studio.

Wizard Rifle are preparing to join seminal psych metal band Acid King and rising nightmare grungers Warish for the Busse Woods 20th Anniversary Tour this summer in the U.S.

Acid King Busse Woods 20th Anniversary Tour Dates with Wizard Rifle and Warish

09/20 Portland, OR @ Star Theater – Hesh Fest

09/21 Seattle, WA @ Highline

09/23 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater 

09/24 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown

09/25 Chicago, IL @ Reggies

09/26 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle

09/27 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop

09/28 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place

09/29 Boston, MA @ Sonia

09/30 New York, NY @ Knitting Factory 

10/01 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

10/02 Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall

10/03 Raleigh, NC @ Kings

10/04 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight

10/05 Atlanta, GA @ The 529

10/06 New Orleans, LA @ One Eye Jack’s

10/07 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey

10/09 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister

10/10 Mesa, AZ @ Club Red

10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite

10/12 San Francisco, CA @ Chapel

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