The Ritz, Manchester
S&M Cults, hooded men with bike chains, naked women, LSD parties and the Hells Angels are some of the components that make up an Electric Wizard live show. Mix that in with an occasional strobe light and a steady drip of Teutonic bass-heavy sludge, and you’ve got yourself a pretty interesting evening. Here the riff is king, and none do it more powerfully than Electric Wizard who have just released their rather excellent new record Time to Die which continues the band’s love for demonic stoner metal, with a sound loud enough to bust open your appendix.
Opening up with Witchcult Today, crushing bass riffs fill the Ritz, rattling the pillars of the auditorium like a cult trying to raise some 18th century creature. Over the steady wave of Marijuana smoke from the front, Black Mass, is a brief side-step out of the sludge into fully blown hallucinatory rock territory, letting the band let rip into full blown sonic assault -it’s possibly the highlight of the night. Despite only playing nine songs over the evening, each track stretches into the ten minute mark, each one carefully selected to show the band over their discography. Dopethrone raises an array of devil horns but it isn’t until Funeralopolis, from Electric Wizard’s cult record Dopethrone that the crowd really loose their shit, the bass roaring, actually rupturing the speaker cabinets, causing a ten minute gap filled by a metronomic bass/drum groove before the guitar comes in again, the bong is relit and the bass roars for one last time.