Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
Released by Rise Above records, on October
Re-issued in 2004 with the bonus
track "Mind Transferral".
- Vinum Sabbathi - 03:06
- Funeralopolis - 08:43
- Weird Tales (i:Electric Frost ii:Golgotha iii:Alter Of Melektaus) - 15:04
- Barbarian - 06:29
- I, The Witchfinder - 11:03
- The Hills Have Eyes - 00:47
- We Hate You - 05:08
- Dopethrone - 20:48
Total playing time - 1 hour, 11 minutes, 13 seconds.
Justin "Jus" Oborn
- Bass/Fuzz Bass/Effects
by Electric Wizard
by Jus Oborn
ed at Chuckalumba Studio
s, May-June 2000
d and Mix
ed by Rolf Startin (assisted by John Stephens)
by Doug Shearer
Artwork & Design: Conceived by Jus Oborn, realised by Hugh Gilmour.
: Tim Bagshaw
First, a little history...
On Friday the 13th of February, 1970, Black Sabbath released their groundbreaking self-titled debut album. Dark, heavy and intense, it was the birth of a genre of music that would eventually come to be known as heavy metal.
Since the release of that prodigious LP, metal (and heavy music in general) has come a long way, developing and diversifying into many different sub-genres. As heavy music has progressed over the past few decades, we have seen some very, very heavy albums. The year after their debut, Sabbath themselves recorded Master of Reality, which laid the foundations for both doom metal and 90s grunge and to this day remains one of the heaviest albums ever made. In 1984, Slayer's speed and aggression on Show No Mercy defined thrash metal. In 1987, on the first Death album, Scream Bloody Gore, Chuck Schuldiner and Chris Reifert took thrash to it's ultimate extreme to create death metal. Finally, in 1992, the tuned down, drugged up and fuzzed out Kyuss opus, Blues For The Red Sun, became the first stoner rock album.
All of the albums listed above are very heavy, very influential and very good. However, they were merely stepping stones in an evolutionary process that culminated with....... Dopethrone.
Dopethrone is, first and foremost, a doom metal album. But it shares the vicious, misanthropic anger of thrash and the brutality of death. It is an extremely evocative album, the music conjures imagery as darkly surreal as the album's artwork. It is also hypnotic, gloomy, evil and above all else, it is heavy, in the truest possible sense of the word.
You have never heard an album heavier than this, nor will you. From the feedback at the start of the opener, Vinum Sabbathi, to the very last chord of the closing track, Dopethrone, every last riff is crushing, relentless and merciless. Dopethrone takes no prisoners.
Dopethrone is as dark lyrically as it is musically. Jus Oborn's lyrics generally stick to themes of occultism (plenty of references to H.P. Lovecraft), social discontentment, fantasy/horror, and of course, weed. Despite the limited range of themes the lyrics cover, they are well written and gel perfectly with the music, further adding to the album's dark imagery.
To do a track by track overview of this album would be to miss the point entirely. This album is not 8 different songs, it is a single piece of music, meant to be taken whole. You can't just pop this in your player and skip to your favourite track, you have to sit down, space out and take it all in, from start to finish (use of experience-enhancing substances is optional, but highly recommended).
In conclusion, Dopethrone is a masterpiece. Not only is it Electric Wizard's finest work, it is the epitome of everything doom metal should be. Listen at your own risk.