Do you like your doom metal with a heavy ladleful of occultism and leather-clad biker imagery? How about with a cannabis cloud that could suffocate a small village? Scores of battlevests were seen massing around the streets of Worcester last Friday in anticipation of a rare Stateside performance by Dorset England’s Electric Wizard as they played the final show of a very brief tour. You’re not gonna get much variation from across their discography, but when you’ve spent time honing a specific sound, why stray from it? I mean, when you’ve got a song named “Satanic Rites Of Drugula,” nothing is implied or hidden about the art.
Various images of naked women in occult ceremonies flickered on the backdrop as the band plowed ahead, bathed in dim red light for the entire show. Oborn and crew said very little and just got down to business, and the insanely loud and smothering blanket of sonic doom was just what the crowd ordered. Minor quibbles about not mixing up their set list much (They played the exact same set as I saw at Psycho, and I for one would love to hear “Dunwich” at least once in my life time) but when you have stone cold classics like “Funeralopolis” and “Return Trip” in your arsenal, complaints are kept to an absolute minimum.
A good bill takes some balance; you don’t want an infinitesimally different shade of black between acts. And as balance goes, Midnight was the perfect opener. They’ve got nothing at all to do with slow, monstrous riffs but instead are all about two nostrils full of cheap trucker speed and an iron boot to the head. Midnight is really just Athenar who writes and plays all the music, but he can’t bring a full show on the road by himself so he’s enlisted a couple of masked men on drums and guitar to bring the thrash attack to life. About as subtle as stepping on a hornet’s nest, this band was absolutely a blast to see live.