Kult of the Wizard

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Album: The White Wizard

Artist: Kult of the Wizard

Released: 13 March 2015

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It’s been a while since I covered a local band from the Twin Cities. Too long, I feel. Well, here’s me addressing that issue. Kult of the Wizard have recently put out their 3rd release. While I liked their last two releases, The White Wizard is an entirely different beast, and one of the most impressive releases I’ve heard lately, regardless of where it came from.

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This record is eerie. It’s dark. It’s heavy. And it’s even kinda, well… it’s kinda seductive. This is not your typical stoner/doom record. Most important, though: This record is really good.

The most noticeable addition to the band’s sound is vocalist Mahle Roth. Drenched in reverb and with a sometimes uncanny sonic resemblance to Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick, she adds an entirely new dimension to an already solid instrumental frame. Just listen to the first minute of “Tusk of Mammoth” and you’ll hear what I’m getting at.

While a new vocalist may be the most noticeable change in their sound, Kult of the Wizard have also made some significant refinements to their songwriting process overall. They’ve done away with much of the clutter that one might have to sift through on your average stoner, doom, or sludge album. Clips of audio sampled from various films and such don’t needlessly go on forever, or randomly appear like some unneeded filler just so a song doesn’t fall under five minutes. There are no long passages of, you know, nothing.

Even better than what Kult of the Wizard didn’t do wrong are what they’ve done exceptionally well. The production on The White Wizard is outstanding. The guitar, bass, and drum tones are phenomenal. While I love me some DIY recording and all of its charming quirks, it can get old, and frankly pretty distracting to the overall listening experience. So it’s nice to hear a record with enough polish to get lost in it as an album, an experience, and not simply a recording.

And that’s exactly what Kult of the Wizard have achieved with their latest release: an experience. An eerie, dark, heavy, seductive experience.

The White Wizard is available now through Kult of the Wizard’s Bandcamp by naming your own price.

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