No region of the world should be devoid of the possibility that any type of genre has the potential to exist and flourish there. Nor should one assume it is improbable for certain genres to creep out of the preconceived wood work. Artists such as Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and The Beatles have had long lasting and far reaching generational impacts, and all three have had their fair share of relationships to a plethora of musical acts. However, to experience a multitude of influences at once through the lens of a hazy Portuguese glass onion is an unexpectedly wondrous delight.
The Black Wizards accomplish something truly remarkable with Reflections. The Portuguese rock powerhouse, fronted by the expressive vocal stylings and tasteful guitar work of Joana Brito, put together an encapsulation of rock influence digging down to its very roots. Even more impressive is the way they maintain a true sense of self amidst the swirling plumes of psychedelia that allude to many of the revered names that emerged from Europe and the United States in the 60s and 70s. Paulo Ferreira (guitar), João Lugatte (bass), João Mendes (percussion/drums) work their sorcery within the sound spheres of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. Joana’s vocals morph from a soulful blues befitting of the grim textures of Graveyard and Goatsnake to Courtney Barnett, with her guitar work amplifying Paulo’s spellbinding fuzz factor.
‘Soul Keeper’ and ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ are the two outstanding moments of the album. One can envision the band standing in front of a mirror and seeing themselves reflected in images of Pink Floyd and The Beatles, respectively. The iconic opening riff and bluesy feel to ‘Money’ is amplified by a unique vision that maintains a fresh sense of presence. There is no dust on these sonic polaroid snapshots, just pure psychedelic bliss.
Reflections is out 23rd August via Kozmic Artifactz/Raging Planet and can be purchased here.
Words: Garrett Tanner