The Electric Ballroom, what an apt place for Electric Wizard to play a capacity crowd on a winter Thursday night. While demand for tickets for Take That cause Ticketmasters website to crash, you could get tickets on the door for this gig, thus proving that slow, strung out feedback-laced doom metal isnt going to conquer the charts but will bring out the faithful like the plague brings out the dead.
Support came from stropped back label mates Moss, a band I first saw two years ago who, quite frankly blew me away. Slow and intense songs created an atmosphere and the band took to the sides of the stage leaving a gap in the performance space. As soon as the last song ended they downed tools and were off stage before the last whine of feedback and the audience applauded and empty stage. Brilliant. Not tonight. Tonight they played a couple of newies showing a change in direction with clean vocals and, gosh, tangible riffs. Ending with from their last album Tombs of the Blind Drugged. Moss even thanked the audience for turning up. Ungrateful bastards! Gone is the arsey artiness of yore. Shame but still enjoyable.
Electric Wizard, a band who sound like they listened to far too much black Sabbath when they were stoned, successfully emulate the feel and imagery of sixties and seventies Italian horror movies. Check out the cover for their almum Black Massess and youll see what I mean. The original members were just a bunch of dopeheads from the New Forest but have created a monster with the addition of Liz Buckingham, a fiery force of blond hair and sonic fury on guitar and Rob Al-Issa on bass. Opening with the song I thought they would have closed with, namely the down-tuned Funerealopolis from their 2000 masterpiece, Dopethrone, they went on to play a robust set packed with classics from their repertoire and couple of new songs from Black Masses which made me glad Id pre-ordered it from Amazon.
Okay, so a giant Eddie didnt come stumbling out and Lulu didnt come bursting out of the curtains singing re-light my fire but the riffs came long and hard (ooh er) but they did what they did best; play dirges to the occult based around one ever expanding riff. For a band with a reputed large drug consumption they didnt let the pace drop and several hundred happy black clad doom metal fans went home with tinnitus and the memories of the last whine of feedback in their ears.