Black Masses (Rise Above)
By Mike Delano
The mighty Electric Wizard return in all of their fuzzy/doomy/all-encompassing Sabby-ness with Black Masses, and considering the quality of material on display here, consider the red carpet fully laid out. Eight songs, eight winners (well, “Crypt of Drugula” might not live up to the awesomeness of its name), the title track is the kind of monumental mid-tempo headbanger that Monster Magnet isn’t making these days, Justin Oborn’s mouth-sounds on “Venus in Furs” sound like they’re blaring out of a meticulously distorted Kmart PA system (btw: This Kmart only sells weed), and “Night Child” still finds a way to boogie even as it creeps forward in heavy boots of lead. In fact, a good portion of the album has some hip shake to it, a welcome reprieve from some new-school doom records that use the power of the riff to communicate a bleak, all-hope-is-lost worldview. Here, the sinister sounds only desire to vibrate your speakers, not your will to live, into mush, and a party where everyone is wearing dark robes is a party nonetheless.