Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response
Released: 17th August 2018
Line up –
B. Nekrasov // Everything
Underground metal as it stands, is a weird beast. Gone are the time where Gorgoroth can confidently and theatrically display decapitated goat heads, or White Zombie could incorporate the sounds of pornography into their music. Today, underground music is for lack of a better term, ‘safe,’ and getting safer and more secluded. Fans argue over minuscule genre differences or how twenty years ago someone said they were a Satanist and can’t be trusted. It’s all a bit much.
And this is why in this time of cultural turmoil, I’m very glad we have Rebel Wizard. Sole member and multi-instrumentalist B. Nekrasov goes heavy on the noise and low on the production with this enigmatic mix of black and heavy metal. In addition, the guy is very apathetic towards how you feel, which is absolutely fucking splendid.
The idea of black metal that most people have in their minds is fast, abrasive guitars and vocals, and in that image, you would not be wrong. Nekrasov’s hellish screeching is often mixed underneath the instruments (super deep sometimes) sounding horrifically trapped between the walls of noise that are only growing more fuzzy edged as time progresses. But this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s refreshing. It lets the guitar roam unconstrained in glorious white noise, be it exploring a pulsing psychedelic soundscape or firing of an enfilade of single notes that mesh into an evil tremolo.
A myriad of moments dot this album that take inspiration from other areas of music; the introduction to ‘Drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen’ immediately springs to mind, as it heavily recalls the earlier, slower solos of Jimi Hendrix. Or the latter half of ‘The poor and ridiculous alchemy of Christ and Lucifer and us all’ which reminds me of a heavier rendition of Blues Pills more psychedelic moments. Less specifically, the entire album pulls from an attitude of older rock n’ roll, be it in some of the drum patterns (simple yet effective) or the transitional moments sandwiched between two quite intense black metal sections that delve into more traditionally heavy metal guitar patterns.
Voluptuous Worship… is easily the most invigorating release this month, largely because it’s unafraid to recall older flavours with a modern nihilistic bent. Meshing Pink Floyd climaxes with astoundingly terrifying screaming in ‘Mother Nature, oh my sweet mistress, showed me the other worlds and it was just fallacy’ is just cool, no matter what you say. Despite all the praise, I wish it was a tad shorter, and I’d probably remove the media clips throughout the album, but it’s not like anyone is going to not listen to it because the first track is a dodgy media clip, so whatever.
Overall, the wonderful production on this album had me hooked almost instantly, and much like a fish on a hook, my brains were then bashed in by the violent stick of brilliant vocals and psychedelic black guitars. I needed something that pushed the envelope; something to reinvigorate me, and this was it.
Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response tracklisting –
1. Persisting as it does
2. The prophecy came and it was soaked with the common fools forboding
3. High mastery of the woeful arts
4. Drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen
5. The poor and ridiculous alchemy of Christ and Lucifer and us all
6. Mother Nature, oh my sweet mistress, showed me the other worlds and it was just fallacy
7. Majestic mystical burdens
8. Healing the chakras with heavy negative wizard metal
9. Voluptuous worship of rapture and response
10. Exhaustive glory