It's a given that Electric Wizard is not the same band who cut the magnificent Dopethrone. That said, it isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on your point of view. Frontman/guitarist Jus Oborn is the only member left from the original lineup. Guitarist Liz Buckingham doubles on the B-3; Rob Al-Issa on bass, and drummer Shaun Rutter round out the ensemble. Musically, Electric Wizard inhabit the same basic world of stoner/doom/sludge they always have. But somehow, there is something more welcoming about them. The music isn't "happy" by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a bit more open. The opening title cut twirls on one basic riff, all bass throb and riff-ridden Black Sabbath slow crawl pummel. The guitar freak-out near the end is more in the early Monster Magnet mold, but these are both solid compliments. But it's "Dunwich," the second track, where they let it rip at full tilt. Oborn's vocals are farther up in the mix this time out, and as part of the overall chaotic rock out vibe, they work to bring the listener farther inside that wall of rock noise. This is one of those monstrous huge riff jams that gets under your skin and won't leave you alone. The two guitars are just in the red zone. Likewise "The Chosen Few," which begins with an increasing wall of feedback and a fuzzed out bass hum, and hammers out the death-plodding doom drone with fury. Oborn sounds great howling out of the mist on top of all that fuzz and volume. The 11-minute instrumental "Black Magic Rituals & Perversions" starts well, but it simply turns into some sort of metallic soundscape ambience that reeks of excess without purpose. It could have come from an experimental French black metal act. Thankfully, they recover on the 11-plus-minute closer "Saturnine." The big monotonous riffing is more hypnotic than anything else and Buckingham's guitar fills the doomy, distorted middle wonderfully with some killer fills at the end of versions and in her solo. For fans of Electric Wizard, this will be essential; it's great to hear them return in such good form; for the curious, start with Dopethrone -- there's plenty of time to get to this one.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek