Review: Rebel Wizard – Hark! Hark! Hark!

Jings! Where to start? Another release from Australia’s prodigiously talented and prolific releaser of all things sonically unpleasant, B. Nekrasov aka Rebel Wizard. Hot on the heels of last year’s full length Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response comes this three track EP boiling over with corrosive, blackened, NWOBHM-tinged negative wizard metal. 

This is his tenth (!) release since 2013, with two full-length albums and eight EPs already to his name. Existing fans will be glad to hear this EP has remained true to form with glorious hook-filled riffs, excoriating vocals, head nodding grooves, melon-twisting time signatures and more changes of style in one song that could put that other noise merchant, Mike Patton to shame. 

Opening track ‘Hair, Wet Soil, Metallic Taste’ starts things off in fine style with a lolloping NWOBHM style riff, which gets the head gently nodding. The vocals are visceral, harsh and defiantly lo-fi, although are up there in the mix. Like the title, it starts off like petrichor but then descends into something much more unsettling. Moving on, ‘Drowned by the Moisture of Hot Breath’ gives a feeling of just that; a maelstrom of blast beats, thrillingly eviscerating vocals and the merest hint of a melody in the background. Until the one and a half minute mark – then it stops and introduces something else. No spoilers though.

Closing track ‘Floating Forward with Closed Eyes Full of Light’ is almost a mixture of the previous two but is still very much it’s own beast. Charging ahead with a Bathory-esque arpeggiated riff and rolling drums, subsequently twisting and turning through blast beats, scorching riffs, military-style drums and classic metal soloing; it’s quite the majestic, frenzied assault on the ears. This is challenging, belligerent, provocative music made by someone who clearly enjoys (or hates?!) his art. Long may he continue to do so.

Words: Scott Crawford

Hark! Hark! Hark! is available via Prosthetic Records and can be purchased here.

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