I had a feeling that Rebel Wizard was a one-man project. I guess there are certain tells when it comes to that type or arrangement. Band title doesn’t seem to be an effort of compromise or mass appeal, the simple yet gloomy art design, the song titles. Yes, let’s talk about these fucking song titles. Screw it, the album is called Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response (Prosthetic).
Or what can be said about compositions titled ‘Mother Nature, Oh My Sweet Mistress, Showed Me the Other Worlds and It Was Just Fallacy’ and ‘The Prophecy Came and It Was Soaked with the Common Fools Foreboding?’ Apparently, this is what happens when you decide to go with the thesaurus for lunch and its not sitting well in your tummy. Fortunately for all of us, Rebel Wizard AKA Bob Nekrasov is more interested in vicious riffage than alphabet soup song names.
The somber art suggests that we’re in for a healthy dose of either doom or black metal, and while it certainly sides with the latter, there are other dark forces at play. To describe Rebel Wizard’s aural mayhem is to recall what Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, or High on Fire sound like. It’s as pure a strain of metal as it gets. When non-hesher friends ask me what metal sounds like I usually name drop those acts. ‘The Prophecy Came and It Was Soaked with the Common Fools Foreboding’ may close out sounding like a black metal track with its scathing vocals and rapid beats, but we’re treated to minutes of fluid, prog-rock guitar licks before the BPM goes into the red. The blackened sound takes a left on Acacia Avenue into Iron Maiden territory on ‘Drunk on the Wizdom of Unicorn Semen’ with its galloping beats and melodic shred.
And as much hell as I seemed to raise about the Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response moniker, the title track does not disappoint. Like clockwork the tension begins to ratchet until it crescendos into a valley of flowing leads and a riff that sounds like Tony Iommi’s take on Sepultura’s ‘Lobotomy.’
Let us all worship the guitars and overly wordy jams of Rebel Wizard. Not bad for the work of a single sorcerer.