Friday, September 28, 2012

Wizard Smoke unleashes 'the Tickler' EP

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Today Wizard Smoke offers up its latest two-song blast titled the Tickler EP — although the song titles are “Christian Cross” and “Old Snake.” Both numbers breathe life into the record's murky, 45-rpm dirges, each one taking up an entire side unto itself, unlocking some seriously hypnotic bottom-heavy tones. “Christian Cross” kicks things off with a sound that's somewhat typical Wizard Smoke’s M.O.: scorched grooves with serrated edges that place an emphasis on the sinister and the ethereal qualities of metal. From the get-go it's bigger and bolder than any of their previous releases. The production, courtesy of Harvey Milk’s Kyle Spence, fleshes out riffs that aim straight for the gut as the song plunges headlong into a 10-minute+ hell ride. The longer the record spins, the slower its rhythms grind along until it all congeals into a primordial mass of distortion and resonance.

On the flipside, “Old Snake” channels the menacing and gritty sounds of the Pacific Northwest in the early ’90s — Tad, Earth, Melvins, Ride, et al. It would be misleading to say that this is a more melodic number for Wizard Smoke, but there is an unholy sway to “Old Snake” that propels it along, moving just little faster than what we're used to hearing from Wizard Smoke, while vocalist James Halcrow let's some of the more "subtle" character of his slightly less-affected "singing" voice carry come to the surface, in all of the song's colossal glory. It’s an Atlanta doom metal classic. Keep an eye out for a limited edition 12-inch that should be materializing soon.

Wizard Smoke plays the Earl on Friday, October 5 with Big Business and House of Lightning. $10-$12. 9 p.m. 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.

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