"Wizard Bloody Wizard" is like the lifting of a thick fog. From the off there's a feel of a dense weight being lifted from the band's signature occult/stoner blend of doom. By the time I get to track two "Necromania" things almost seem like a dark cock-rock affair which is odd. The over-arching feel though is of a band who have gone off the boil somewhat. Despite the aforementioned lifting of the heavy atmosphere "Wizard Bloody Wizard" seems more of ground out effort made under some duress resulting in the album being robbed in the main of any feel.
The stoner riff that opens "Hear The Sirens Scream" gets the attention but by the time Jus' vocals kick in it is already starting to grate like when your washer stays on spin for fucking ages. Instead of being a great hook for the track in becomes a centre-pin that loops unnecessarily throughout. The vocals almost sound too laid back here also, like they are almost too much trouble to have to do. When combined with the one dimensional structure of the song it all just starts to sound more than a bit forced. As a result the track completely outstays its welcome even managing to make near 9 minutes feel like 15. It's like your nagging aunt phoning for a "quick chat" only to spend an hour of your life hearing whose died recently and why.
The creepy organ keys of "The Reaper" don't actually fit the riff structure at all. The attempt at perhaps a drug infused chaos just sounds a clumsy and unnecessary 3 minutes of filler on a record that's only 6 tracks long anyway. "Wicked Caresses" offers the only hope for an actual bonafide EW track on the whole album, buzzing with hazy stoner riffs and solid plodding rhythm throughout but bubbling over with atmosphere to hold the interest better than anything before it. The vocals actually sound like they are being delivered with thought and meaning as opposed to a disinterested teenager delivering a presentation at school on "Geographical Inertia" done with minimal research and planning to ever hope of not getting to stand in the corner with a big pointy "D" hat on.
Unfortunately closing track "Mourning of Magicians" is delivered with about as much enthusiasm as the current Brexit deal and I just don't understand why? "Time to Die" wasn't flawless but at least it was alive - it had meaning and purpose, direction even - whereas the cold dead eyes of "Wizard Bloody Wizard" offer no icy spark of creativity or artistic merit. It is one of the most tired sounding things I have ever heard. I spoke to my Gran this morning, she's 91 and can barely walk anymore and currently has a cold and she still sounded more exuberant than all six of these tracks put together. My noodles at lunch had more kick to them, etc, etc... I could go on for hours about how much I dislike this.