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Monday, 7 May 2018

Old Man Wizard "Blame It All on Sorcery" 2018 US Heavy Psych ,Prog Stoner,Doom Metal


Old Man Wizard  "Blame It All on Sorcery" 2018 US Heavy Psych ,Prog Stoner,Doom Metal
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http://oldmanwizard.com/album/blame-it-all-on-sorcery


Blame It All On Sorcery is the second studio album by our Southern California-based rock band Old Man Wizard. This album is written, arranged, and recorded. We are raising funds with the goal of self-releasing it to make sure you get the clearest representation of our vision. ….~


You can’t blame me. With a name like Old Man Wizard, I expected some doom or stoner metal stuff akin to Black Sabbath. I defy you to find a band with the word ‘wizard’ in the name that isn’t at least adjacent to those genres. To be clear, I’m very happy with what I got: a Ghost-like progressive rock outfit blanketed with folk, metal and Western movie soundtrack flair. The California trio and recent Weekly Featured Artist here at It Djents have been at it for a while. However, with their second album, they look to be aiming for the legendary progressive music pantheon by imbuing their unique sound with more variety, spirit and… well, what I can only really describe as magic. The aptly titled Blame It All On Sorcery is an inferno of creativity from a budding band wise beyond their years and one of the best prog albums I’ve heard recently. 

There’s a lot going on with this album. It’s hard to adequately summarize all of the varieties of sounds you encounter throughout its 44-minute length. The intersections of folk, prog rock, black metal and outlaw Western soundtracks (think Ennio Morricone, whom guitarist and singer Francis Roberts is a fan of) are fruitful, engaging and built for multiple listens. Clean, well-mixed production that sits closer to lo-fi with a retro vibe gives it charm. Old Man Wizard put their best foot forward showing off three singles from the album (as of this writing) that make the sense of artistry and dynamics in this album very apparent while saving some real goodies for the deeper cuts. Let’s get into the singles first, each one deserving of its own praise.
“Never Leave” is a gloomy acoustic ballad. Kris Calabio’s drums have an organic snappiness to them which showcase how much the dialed-back production really benefits Old Man Wizard‘s music. The lyrics evoke imagery of fields rich with flora soaked in moonlight, curiously inhabited by visions of inviting angels. It’s relaxing and calming, which is a pretty stark contrast to this album’s other two singles. “The Blind Prince” is a lot more high tempo than “Never Leave”. Choral vocals welcome you with much more intense percussion and vigorous bass and electric guitar. The best part of this track, and a major milestone of the whole album, is the song’s final verse, a climax after a short crescendo with an intensely groovy, catchy guitar passage. The vocals are patiently enunciated and remind me of the first couple iterations of Ghost‘s charismatic Papa Emeritus. It has a classically metal tone to it, but it’s over before you know it. 

“Innocent Hands” erupts from the first second it’s played, calling forth a black metal-like fury that couldn’t have been foreseen especially when considering the previous track was another calm acoustic song (“Somehow”). It’s almost jarring – the quickened gallop of the drums usher in a pace that gave me tonal whiplash at first, but belongs firmly in Old Man Wizard‘s book of spells. High, clean vocals eerily sing: ‘Walk to the edge of the world/Blame falls on innocent hands‘. Each syllable is joined by a snare and cymbal strike which helps accentuate them. An instrumental break gives Andre Beller’s chunky bass some good air time before the final verse, a refrain made up of the second lyric quoted earlier.
The deep cuts of Blame It All On Sorcery offer even more textures while maintaining the band’s overall aesthetic. “Cosmo” sees cadence and inflections of the vocals dance around with the drums as they did on “Innocent Hands”, but it’s a much more toned down affair. The proto-metal flair carries onto “Last Ride of the Ancients”, which is infectious with a melody that builds upon itself. Two guitar solos in this song sound heavily inspired by Queen‘s Brian May in both composition and tone. Finally, the ten-minute epic closer “The Long-Nosed Wiseman” is a doom rock treat. Roberts’ vocals take on an eerie tone as he weaves a tale about the titular wiseman. It’s a slow burn and while the track is as strong as any other in terms of storytelling and lyrics, the instrumentation is what really sells it here. The pacing and progression help encompass the range of Old Man Wizard‘s skill set, making for a wonderful way to close the album out. 

There’s not much keeping this album from the top ranks. It’s beautifully dynamic and has a lot going for it, from its delicate moments to the furiously catchy touchstones. I would tell anyone who is a fan of rock music to give it a go. It’s initially enigmatic, but always intoxicating. There truly is something in it for nearly everyone, but in grasping for that wider appeal the artistic merit hasn’t been compromised and retains the depth that any great prog album should have. This will be one of the greater progressive music releases of 2018, no doubt. Old Man Wizard wield a wickedly comprehensive and enjoyable magic and I implore you to fall under their spell….ByDavid Rodriguez….~


I’ve been following Old Man Wizard for years now and they have rapidly made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting and potent bands on the West Coast. Their unique brand of psych rock has grown in leaps and bounds though with this upcoming release owing much more to Ghost than to Kyuss. There has been a fascinating development in what Old Man Wizard has been doing, and though it’s been five years in between full lengths - I gotta say, it was well worth the wait for this fascinating offering. 

This is a record that is epic and knows it. They play the long game throughout Blame It All On Sorcery with distinct musical twists and turns allowing Old Man Wizard to explore a variety of exciting flavors. As much as they might revel in the psychedelic and classic rock sounds that define this record though, they aren’t afraid to go back to their roots and embrace moments of pure doom or black metal. Sure there aren’t growls or anything too extreme, but the intro of Innocent Hands definitely caught me off guard. My only real complaint about this album is that it’s maybe too ambitious and at times the execution is a little bit off. 

Make no mistake, Blame It All On Sorcery is an exciting journey and one that I’m stoked to take time and time again. The fusion of ideas and genres here is stunning and overall very well done. I’m extremely curious to see how these guys keep developing because they have one of the clearest visions and potent sounds in the scene right now. There are a lot of truly thrilling moments giving Old Man Wizard a unique level of dynamism that you don’t normally see from bands on their level. If they can conjure up something like this, who knows what the future may hold?…..by Matt Bacon ….~

Old Man Wizard are a progressive, hard rock and metal band from California. Their new release ‘Blame It All On Sorcery’ will be released on May 11th 2018. Guitarist and vocalist Francis Roberts has commented the ’album is the result of a years-long winding (and fairly bumpy) road.’ He further comments he and his group ’actually almost recorded Blame It All On Sorcery at some point in 2014 or 2015, but Kris developed pretty bad tendonitis and (the band) had to replace him on drums for a couple of shows.’ He continues ‘We all wanted him on the album so we decided to take a break until he was able to play again’. 

It’s no surprise this album took so long to produce. The harmony is unusually complex for most genres of rock. Its jazzy, relentless chromatic nature is rather striking, whilst simultaneously quite heavy much of the time. It really shows the metal sceptics that a great deal of creativity can be demonstrated with distorted guitars, bass and vocals. You don’t need keyboards or similar instruments to provide pleasing tones. Furthermore, the frustration of the recording experience shows in the lack of happy vibes. Eeriness, tension and sadness are frequently depicted. 

It’s clear from their hiatus that the band members care about each other, and this is perhaps also shown in their music. Whilst they are powerful, the guitars do have a relatively warm tone to them rather than them being super distorted. The drums are rarely too manic and the singing is far from threatening. In fact the latter is sometimes even a tiny little bit on the angelic side. Relatively speaking. In a way. This music is clearly somewhat of a paradox with all its contrasting traits, but it is a fascinating listen. 

Unfortunately, whilst they are rather colourful and distinctive, the vocal melodies aren’t quite as adventurous as the chords. They are fairly decent, but are a little on the safe side, with few large intervallic leaps. However, the variety of sounds, tempos, moods and the way everything progresses in the album at least partly makes up for that deficiency. 

In conclusion, this is very good music of its style. It is more focused on songwriting than instrumental flashiness, so don’t expect anything close to crazy sweep picking, epic drum solos using strange polyrhythms or anything more skilled than your typical metal group. However, if that doesn’t matter to you, there is little in ‘BIAOS’ that will put you off this stuff, especially if you have a more sophisticated taste. And don’t worry, just because these guys are clever, don’t think they neglect simplified though fun power chords. Check the album out!…by..Simon Wedemann….~


Francis Roberts - Guitar, Vocals 
Andre Beller - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals 
Kris Calabio - Drums, Backing Vocals

Tracklist: 
1.Beginnings And Happenstance 
2.Sorcerer 
3.The Blind Prince 
4.Never Leave 
5.Cosmo 
6.Somehow 
7.Innocent Hands 
8.Last Ride Of The Ancients 
9.The Vision 
10.The Long-Nosed Wiseman

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