I hail from the city of York at present in the north of England and one town over, just a few miles away in Leeds the music scene is thriving! One of the better bands to come from this seething metropolis of metal is the sludge doom four piece known brilliantly as Wizard's Beard, a band I happened to see live some months ago in the cellar of an school working class pub in Leeds. Let me tell you the rumble and thunder these lads churned out was mightily impressive and so leads me on to today's second review of three, Wizard's Beard's sophomore full length album releases entitled "Four Tired Undertakers"
Slowly and surely opening track "Subirse El Muerto" rises from the peace and quiet with deep, calculating guitar tones, firm but placid drum beats before a crescendo is reached, the clash of symbol rings out and harsh, half growled half screamed vocals permeate the tranquility as Wizard's Beard's heavy drawn out drawl and absolute doom laden ferocity is unleashed!
If the words crushing, destructive or monolithic were formed for one purpose only it would be as adjectives to verify the intense and heavy nature with which Wizard's Beard go about the task of churning out simply breath taking doom! Splendidly catchy in places, devastatingly thunderous in others, the band hit home and hit home hard again and again and again with all the grace and mercy of a category five hurricane, aftermath included!
"Abandon the Wolf" is a pure thoroughbred of catchy riffs, a track that demands your head be banged and your mind me lost as the bands blanket you in a shroud of intense beats and thoroughly groove drenched melodies yet still packing in a few moments of slowed down ferocity as huge drum beats, riffs and growls are thrown up high to come crashing back down to earth with the strength and impact of a neutron bomb!
As the long drawn out ending to "Abandon the Wolf" reaches it's climax the aura around the album is an oppressive fog, alleviated momentarily by the opening bursts of "Daemon" which increases the easy going nature the band occasionally dabble with whilst tempering this style with more angry bursts of catastrophic heaviness with which Wizard's Beard seem so adept at! As things progress this song gets progressively darker, slower and more brooding as befits the subject matter at hand and by the end the band have you mired in a thick swamp of riffs and an evil lurking intent! The aptly named "Seeth Inside" starts with subtle tones that has you on the edge of your seat waiting for the explosion of heaviness you know is sure to come and true to form these lads don't let you down!
Heading towards the end of an album you simply don't wish to end and the band batter and pulverise their way through penultimate track "Accursed" with all the grace and subtlety of a brick to the face as this cathedral of noise and ferocity leads into the albums epic, an eleven minute finale entitled "Harbinger" that sees Wizard's Beard bring this montage of doom and filth to a well executed finish! Nothing creates the mindset for doom like being from Yorkshire and here is one example of exactly how to tap into that frame of mind. A must own album from a band you have to experience!
9/10 - Luke Hayhurst