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Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard
October 19, 2005, 09:07:52 AM
I'd like to know how the metallers receive this band.

This might be a little odd considering my fierce intolerance of mediocrity in the Black Metal... Drying Up? thread, but I've got a little time for this band.

Metal showed me that whilst catharsis and virulent negativity had it's place, the same power could be couched in strength and discipline. After navigating this change over the past few years, I return to a band like Electric Wizard (the lesser american equivalent might be Eyehategod, but they don't have the psychedelic mysticism going on) and perceive their degeneracy from a different vantage. They seem to reaching for transcendence in a pure extreme of self destruction and nihilism, which normally doesn't at all rattle my bones.

This admittedly might be analogous to the pot-smoker who has supposed visionary experiences and then believes pot to be profound. I'm willing to concede something like that.

For me though, the fact remains that our roots are in techno-industrial society, and we will have to pay it (like Godflesh did with Streetcleaner) and it's destructive psychological accompaniments (as do Electric Wizard) tribute before growing beyond.

In fact, I'd say this is the great thing about great metal, it skillfully navigates the boundaries between decadence and asceticism, or carnality and transcendence, most often by striving for the latter by paradoxically penetrating the former.

I assume SRP would not concur regarding the decadence of such a band as Electric Wizard, but I'm interested in hearing some thoughts.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 19, 2005, 04:00:11 PM
Yes. A very fine band indeed and probably the only doom band I am remotely interested in (in fact the Wizard are one of my top 5 Metal acts.)

I find them graceful in their bludgeoning delivery and seething contempt for mankind. Their early works ('Super Coven', 'Come My Fanatics' and 'Dopethrone') somehow weave an aural web of utter chaos, bleak heaviness and total ambience. A paradoxical mix and one which more acts could do with promoting in their sound. Kind of like Ildjarn perhaps.

The mysticism conveyed is that of the NWOBHM combined with bad drugs aplenty. The early grittier production perfectly encapsulates the Wizard aethetic of transcendence and contempt for the modern age. Although they seem to have lost their way slightly on the last two releases it is worth mentioning that Ramesses (formed by the since departed Greening and Bagshaw) carries on the torch of voodoo blackened Metal (not Black Metal fer fuck's sake) encouraging the looseness of the Early Wizard sound  into new soundscapes. Good stuff.

Not a band to download from the internet. Worth buying for the superb graphics that accentuate further the mental vision created upon listening ala Burzum. Fuck photoshop.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 19, 2005, 08:32:54 PM
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Yes. A very fine band indeed and probably the only doom band I am remotely interested in (in fact the Wizard are one of my top 5 Metal acts.)


Not Thergothon, early Cathedral (In Memorium ep), Skepticism's first?

I've actually just downloaded We Live and I found it surprisingly powerful. Particularly the first and last tracks, but other sections too.

Definitely not close to my top 5 metal acts (I have an appreciation for this band quite separate to metal actually), but good for a change.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 20, 2005, 06:51:58 AM
The thing I like about Electric Wizard is that they take a cooky, modern, "pulp fantasy, horror, and sci-fi" conception of darkness and put a different spin on it, so to speak. They latch on to hints of beauty and horrible truth found in the subjects that inspire them, and turn it into an agonizing, THC-intensified plunge into their minds of people who feel trapped in the modern world, hate everything about it, and have to deal with the consequences of constantly trying to distance themselves from it.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 20, 2005, 06:54:04 AM
I enjoy Cathedral's first album as well as Paradise Lost's plus Candlemass' 'Nightfall'. Other than some Unholy and Winter Ive heard I can't say I go a bundle on doom as a genre. It's drawn out neoclassical approach can bore me to tears! What I enjoy about the Wizard is the simplicity of their approach which, as I previously stated, borders on the ambient and makes a refreshing change in such a stifled movement.

I would definitely reccomend you try 'Come My Fanatics', 'Supercoven' ep, and 'Dopethrone'. They are miles beyond 'We Live', which, although not bad, fails to live up to these early recordings. The first s/t album is heavily indebted to Sleep's 'Holy Mountain' and possibly worth a listen, however I would avoid 'Let us Prey' as it is simply just not very good!

I would personally enjoy more death doom ala Autopsy. Fucking classic stuff.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 20, 2005, 10:32:36 PM
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I would definitely reccomend you try 'Come My Fanatics', 'Supercoven' ep, and 'Dopethrone'. They are miles beyond 'We Live', which, although not bad, fails to live up to these early recordings. The first s/t album is heavily indebted to Sleep's 'Holy Mountain' and possibly worth a listen, however I would avoid 'Let us Prey' as it is simply just not very good!



I discovered this band by Dopethrone, and much of my waxing lyrical above derives from that album. I plan to try Come My Fanatics one day, though my energy for new rock/metal is at quite a low point.

I'd recommend Thergothon's album if you haven't heard it. Or if you're on a slow connection try the track Elemental.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 23, 2005, 01:38:59 AM
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They seem to reaching for transcendence in a pure extreme of self destruction and nihilism, which normally doesn't at all rattle my bones.


You mean like G.G. Allin did? Like Iggy Pop did? Like Jim Morrison did?

The attitude they espouse is the norm in popular/rock music. Black metal was the rarity in that it transcended that outlook and became creative again.

Fuck rock music. It's for morons or the misinformed. Clearly if either category, you're the latter, but still: why does aesthetic become more important than content when discuss popular music? Stick to the best, leave off the rest -- it's more landfill and if you invite it into your brain, ...


Re: Electric Wizard
October 23, 2005, 05:21:41 AM
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You mean like G.G. Allin did? Like Iggy Pop did? Like Jim Morrison did?


Not at all. Actually I was trying to differentiate EW from such nonsense...

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The attitude they espouse is the norm in popular/rock music. Black metal was the rarity in that it transcended that outlook and became creative again.


Asserting that transcendence is the same as me asserting it for Electric Wizard. I think there's heaps of bands to attempt the transcendence in a similar manner: Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon most obviously, but also Ildjarn. I see little difference in profundity between these bands.

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Fuck rock music.


except for Jesu?

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It's for morons or the misinformed. Clearly if either category, you're the latter...


I've no misinformation about what I'm doing. I don't hold EW in especially high regard, like one might the greats. Admittedly it's difficult to endorse something in writing whilst also displaying some apprehension about it's merits.

Deicide, Antaeus, Blasphemy, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Asphyx, Necrophobic, Deeds of Flesh, Immortal, profanatica, Slayer, Krieg, etc. etc. all play music for morons.

There's about 5 metal bands who struggle over the barrier to non-moron land, and the morons tend to like them also, as they don't seem to differentiate between much at all.

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 Stick to the best, leave off the rest -- it's more landfill and if you invite it into your brain, ...


You should know that this is my attitude entirely, unless you just motor out the same spiel without listening to the response of different people around here. I posted the rant on EW as an example of how such an attitude will always have holes in it somewhere: whether it's I or you who espouse it.

I was hesitant to respond at all because I don't see much value in this conversation, but I felt compelled to elaborate if only to halt your patronising.

it's like this

Serious ("True") Fieldmouse: EW is degenerate wasteful modern sickness.
Social Bullshit Fieldmouse @ Anus metal forums: EW is an interesting partial exception of a band.

Yes, I might kill the SB Fieldmouse soon. Perhaps it really would be best. As seems to be the pattern, I feel less and less attachment to metal of any kind these days, and less and less identification with the attitude that birthed it. But whilst one can travel down the banks to the deep gorge of Nihilism and then begin climbing the banks up the other side after being cleansed in the the cold waters, the human world remains in such a state so that Streetcleaner remains powerful, as opposed to redundant. With the world remaining as it is, heroism (or classicism etc.), whilst the attitude I most advocate, will only appear delusional if it looses it's critique of the state of the world.

Should one criticise the way things are or should one strictly forge anew and lead by example? I believe one must do both in order to do the second.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 23, 2005, 03:45:00 PM
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why does aesthetic become more important than content when discuss popular music? Stick to the best, leave off the rest -- it's more landfill and if you invite it into your brain, ...




Agreed, but that applies to just about everything - especially black&death metal


see the quote in my sig...

I haven't heard Electric Wizard yet(upload?) so I can't comment on them, but I do agree with the post above as a whole and very much myself bear little to no connection with metal of any kind anymore, save for enjoying a handfull of non-shitty bands
Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music, music is the BEST.
~ Frank Zappa

Re: Electric Wizard
October 23, 2005, 05:26:45 PM
Thin Lizzy
Black Sabbath
King Crimson
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Led Zeppelin
The Moody Blues
Motorhead
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
The Pixies
Janes Addiction
Dinosaur Jr

All Rock bands that have provided some music of merit that you don't need to dumb yourselves down to listen to.


Re: Electric Wizard
October 23, 2005, 09:17:16 PM
Despite the recent "Sick of it" thread, people keep redundantly claiming that they feel little connection to metal anymore, save for X number of bands which they feel are truly useful.

To avoid any confusion, I think this attitude is a fair and proper one.  It is easy to observe that quality in metal has been replaced with quantity, that much of the entire movement has been reduced to normalized and repetitive musical output and socialization.  This should be obvious to anyone of conscience.  Additionally, any introspective person will begin to feel existential weight after immersing oneself so fully in *anything*, as I assume many of us have, especially transient and youth-oriented movements such as black/death metal.  If "leaving metal behind" as a dynamic process is considered an inevitable state of affairs, then I am probably stuck somewhere in the middle of the curve.    However, it is the consistently extreme statements about metal temporally in toto which I am still unable to fully grasp.

For my questions regarding it, I will have to pick on Fieldmouse as he is the most visible example in this thread of my grievance: if you are absolutely convinced that there are only "5 or so" acts which are not simply excellent music but are merely not stupid, what effort is there to be expended at all?  It seems criticizing metal in particular is fairly useless as it does not (or should not) serve as some linear stepping stone out the so-called cold waters in the gorge of nihilism; it is simply the context of this specific board and, I can safely assume, our pasts which makes it convenient.  The criticism argument only works on greater planes; it is next to impossible to "leave" society, thus some criticism of it is necessary as we continue to experience it.  However, "metal" can be left in the dust if one chooses.  I can only assume there is some attachment, even for someone who has almost no real regard for the genre, driving you to continue to post here at the rate you do.  Perhaps these are the death throes.

In general then, it seems every time an issue about less-than-stellar metal comes up (i.e. virtually every thread, as this IS a metal board), instead of being direct in criticism when proper, or ignoring the subject as often necessary, someone always points out everything we have heard ad nauseum already, usually with an andecdotal addendum about what metal means (or no longer means) to them personally.  Perhaps we should make a sticky of the first post in the "Sick of it" thread and the "Growing out of Metal?" thread and continue to do what is possible to salvage whatever positives we can out of the metal subject before we all tire of it completely.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 24, 2005, 12:16:42 AM
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For my questions regarding it, I will have to pick on Fieldmouse as he is the most visible example in this thread of my grievance: if you are absolutely convinced that there are only "5 or so" acts which are not simply excellent music but are merely not stupid, what effort is there to be expended at all?  It seems criticizing metal in particular is fairly useless as it does not (or should not) serve as some linear stepping stone out the so-called cold waters in the gorge of nihilism; it is simply the context of this specific board and, I can safely assume, our pasts which makes it convenient.  The criticism argument only works on greater planes; it is next to impossible to "leave" society, thus some criticism of it is necessary as we continue to experience it.  However, "metal" can be left in the dust if one chooses.  I can only assume there is some attachment, even for someone who has almost no real regard for the genre, driving you to continue to post here at the rate you do.  Perhaps these are the death throes.
 


I feel in a similar place regarding the moving-on curve you described kontinual, and I must also accept your criticisms as valid.

In some ways you answer your own question: why is effort to be expended at all? because of the handful of amazing powerful bands and the nourishment I received from they music they created. To separate the wheat from the chaff. This is a social space, perhaps my only function here is to promote intolerance of medicrity and open avenues to other areas of interest.

I fail to understand your assertion that criticising metal is useless. The most dangerous thing that can happen to an interest-defined social group is to loose a critical edge in their approach. Perhaps I misunderstand. Perhaps its redundant, but it's in response to redundant enthusiasm for the latest hogshit.

I also must defend my two pronged approach (intolerance and then starting a thread such as this one), which I've acknowledged at the start and emphasised in response to SRP: people are complex, and the cold turkey approach doesn't fit with me (nor anyone in my opinion). As you've said, identity is movement, not stasis; and my interest in a band like EW is totally superficial. But hey this is a metal board, and I thought this would be a discussion that might have some contention. I disagree with SRP in that I think people also need non-demanding times also. It's just a case of how well you can spend your down time, which certainly won't match your up time. This board is probably as down as I get; the rest of my time is spent reading, exercising, studying etc. What I mean to say is that despite a harsh attitude, people also need superficiality; but it's when the latter dominates that we have a problem. I'm willing to acknowledge that the superficiality component of others here is in current metal bands, but I'm concerned that it's taking a position of dominance.

If you read what I said about the Nihilism gorge, you'll see that I wasn't saying it's a linear development, if it was I would not listen to the negative aligned bands at all (EW, Godflesh, Slayer etc.) and would probably only listen to Burzum and Graveleand. I was saying that despite one's personal development, they must still contend with the world unchanged, which means that Streetcleaner is still a powerful negative statement, however much one may have lost any personal identification with it's negativity per se.

My intolerance of mediocre bands in no way is meant to imply non-attachment and contempt for metal as a whole, though it may soon give birth to such a view. But my attitude isn't one of precious defence of my preferred subculture. It's akin to Savitri Devi's Gold In the Furnace.

I have considered leaving this board recently, and view my presence here as something of an addiction. Metal is not an end; If you'd like me to stop saying that and leave this board with the opposite assumption, I'm happy to do so.

I think you're really implicitly articulating the truth that there's nothing left to talk about in terms of metal anymore. I've subconsciously accepted this myself, and thus my presence here is mere socialising. Perhaps I ought to be more decisive and leave proper. You've quite perceptively characterised my presence as in death throes.

I hope I've understood you more or less accurately.

PS: I chose EW because for me they're right on the fence regarding so many of these issues, and I thought they'd elicit discussion as such. Clearly for SRP they've fallen to one side, and for Flight_of_Zapan, another.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 24, 2005, 12:19:56 AM
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Thin Lizzy
Black Sabbath
King Crimson
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Led Zeppelin
The Moody Blues
Motorhead
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
The Pixies
Janes Addiction
Dinosaur Jr

All Rock bands that have provided some music of merit that you don't need to dumb yourselves down to listen to.



a) morons also like these bands (i know that's a bit of a truism, as morons also like Beethoven, but this is in response to SRP's moron charge)

b) most of those bands are ok, and I'd also add VNV Nation, Joy Division, Kraftwerk. But they're value is relative to other pop music. Relative to Bach's Cello Suites or partitas and sonatas for solo violin, they don't get a look in at all.

For me, one can value some of the above pop music whilst still recognising that it's microscopic compared to other musics. Again, it's only the great levelling mechanism which permeates personal preference that is troublesome.
Conflagrations

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 24, 2005, 08:35:43 AM
Fieldmouse: thank you for the reply, which was satisfying.  

Quickly for now, I certainly wasn't implying that criticizing metal is useless as a whole, but moreso useless to you personally in your situation as described.

Re: Electric Wizard
October 25, 2005, 04:30:41 PM
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a) morons also like these bands (i know that's a bit of a truism, as morons also like Beethoven, but this is in response to SRP's moron charge)

b) most of those bands are ok, and I'd also add VNV Nation, Joy Division, Kraftwerk. But they're value is relative to other pop music. Relative to Bach's Cello Suites or partitas and sonatas for solo violin, they don't get a look in at all.

For me, one can value some of the above pop music whilst still recognising that it's microscopic compared to other musics. Again, it's only the great levelling mechanism which permeates personal preference that is troublesome.



Agreed.