The Pitch: Blackened heavy metal, or "Negative wizard metal," act Rebel Wizard returns with a 4-song EP of "anti-shamanic, pre-fetal anthems" again via Prosthetic Records. Comments mastermind NKSV, “...we can abandon hope and rest blissfully within the mystical indifference of the wizards majestic riff.” FFO: Skeletonwitch, Absu, Destroyer 666
What I Like: NKSV nails the true essence of Rebel Wizard in that brief quote. As always with this project, it is all about the riff on The Warning of One. In fact, if you toss the vocals aside for a moment, this is music that should have vast appeal for fans of classic NWOBHM groups like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Thanks to a very 80's production job and the glorious heavy metal hooks and solos, these elements hold up to scrutiny all on their own.
But there's another side to Rebel Wizard that makes the overall presentation all about contrast. If the epic guitars are the Dougie Jones of the project, the harsh black metal vocals are Evil Cooper. As if recorded through a cheap CB radio, these 2nd wave-worshiping shrieks are in stark opposition to the relatively clean work on the axe. They evoke a certain (very BM) discomfort that seperates the music from some of the similar groups above.
Critiques: I still find myself missing the cleaner production of the early EP's. I'm torn, as I like how the raw, kvlt vocals create a unique dichotomy with the riffs, but I feel that they could be stronger at the same time. And on a more specific note to these particular tracks, I don't find them to be quite as memorable as some of the band's previous material.
The Verdict: I'm not in love with this EP, but I love Rebel Wizard and think that there is plenty of strong instrumentation on display with The Warning of One. Whether you find yourself latching onto this release or simply intrigued by its elements, I recommend you also check out their other works linked in the body. Hear it in full and buy it tomorrow.
Flight's Fav's: One I Seek, One I Know
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