Kult Of The Wizard – Gold Review

Written By: Nameless N00b_23

I’m a simple n00b. I like my meat rare, my Dr. Pepper with ice1, and my black metal raw. I don’t ask for much, just give me some chunky riffs and the vision to support them and you have my axe. What Minneapolis’ traditional doomers Kult Of The Wizard have done on their latest offering, Gold, is so much more and it’s made a simple n00b like myself all warm inside in a way that the usual holiday cheer of the season doesn’t normally bring about.2 With no previous experience with the group, I had no idea what to expect, but it’s safe to say that after this journey I’m a true fanboy. Folks, there’s no reason to beat around the bush so let’s just dive in and see what the fuzz is about.

From the first minute of opener and instant banger “Burn With The Light” I knew I was going to like Gold. It’s got metric tons of groove, enough sass to pay the bills, and the hooks and lyrical themes that truly immerse me in the material. It’s savory, sweet, with a tinge of spice and has served as my sonic comfort food for a while. As if that wasn’t enough to win me over, Kult Of The Wizard keep building on the opening track throughout the album in a way that’s not only surprising given the opener, but also truly inspired and fulfilled. After drawing you in with the riffs and the rhythms, Gold pivots to a more introverted and introspective place holistically envisioned and thoroughly executed. The band’s ability to meld thematic vision with songwriting doesn’t necessarily surface as a connected story in any way, but it materializes instead as a sense of place and presence that I haven’t experienced with an album in a long time. Songs like “Into The Void” and “My Home Is Fine” create a sonic smoke screen around the listener, drawing you in so deeply that one cannot help but put down everything and just focus on the music.

At its worst, Gold is a traditional groove-fest reminiscent of Sabbath’s “Supernaut” but doomier and with the type of sass that only Rival Sons’ Jay Buchanan could conjure. At its best, the album is a musical journey. As such, I struggle to find bad things to say about Kult Of The Wizard’s latest outing. Sure, there’s a 3-ish minute atmospheric track smack right in the middle that does little to further Gold, but in the grand scheme of this cosmic concoction that’s really getting into nitpicking territory, and as I said, I am a simple n00b. There’s just too much good that the potential flaws of the album become trivial in this context. Just the fact that these Minneapolis doomers had the bravery to start out the album in one way and end it in a completely different place and that they manage to pull it off with gusto is a testament to the creative force that is Kult Of The Wizard.

Can we talk about this singer now? The second I heard the voice of Mahle Roth I was onboard with this album. Her vocal performance is sweet like honey yet savory and spicy as a late summer night barbeque. She has a personality in her voice that most vocalists can only dream of and her sense of presence and tenderness is truly transformational. The performances of the other band members are nothing to scoff at either, as the combination of fuzzy guitars, immersive synths, organs, gut wrenching drums and solid bass supported by a surprisingly sleek production stands this album up like the solid monolith that it is. But the performance of Roth takes Gold into the stratosphere. Check out “Into The Void” and “I Dream In Gold” for her standout moments.

What else can I say? On Gold, Kult Of The Wizard delivers not only groovy and riff-laden traditional doom like nobody’s business, but also introspective and immersive musical epics with some true pathos. The future is bright and full of potential for a band like this, and this Nameless N00b will be following it closely.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Interstellar Smoke Records
Websites: kultofthewizard.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/kultofthewizard
Releases Worldwide: December 18th, 2020

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Shoutout to adults who drink soda.
  2. Report to the Demotivational Chamber. – Steel
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