If there's one way to get a group of people creaming their pants, just mention this band. In the short amount of time it's been out, "Witchcult Today" has already established itself as some sort of modern classic, an album that will conquer Jerusalem and destroy the Dopethrone. And while I wouldn't say that it sucks (as it's certainly a good record), I would advice you all to take a few deep breaths, have some valium or whatever, and see this for what it is: A good, but extremely cliched record that is 'doomy' but not particularly amazing.
I'm happy with that summary, but while I'd be content leaving it like that I guess some more detail is needed. While Osborn can still deliver some absolutely crushing riffage- "Dunwich" is probably the heaviest song ELECTRIC WIZARD (or indeed anyone else) has ever written- it just doesn't seem as inspired, and, well, stoned as Dopethrone and the debut were. Whereas "Dopethrone" had you coughing up large chunks of hash, this has you making a cup of coffee.. THAT IS EXTRA STRONG. Or something.
Indeed, a lot about this record (except for the aforementioned "Dunwich", which slays hard) suggests a lack of inspiration on EW's part. The Doom riffs are enjoyable, but most aren't all heavy, and they are really, really cliched- true, there's only so many slow sabbath-worshipping riffs out there you can play, but still, come on guys! Just because you tune your guitars down to G doesn't mean all of those tired riffs become fresh. While there's a few enjoyable riffs in this album (and when they nail 'em, they sound sweet), a lot of it sounds quite tired. Most follow a pretty boring, pretty similar rhythm (examples: "Torquemada 71"'s intro, the beginning of the title track), and a lot just float around- riffs that go in your ear and straight out the other.
Basically, there's just no edge to this. Huge (HUGE) guitar tone aside, this isn't the same loose/out of time, very very very stoned band that dropped some of their earlier albums. Osborn's vocals, never the strongest point of this band, have gotten louder and possibly more annoying, and the whole album in general is one long, weary slog, and don't get me started on the abominable attempt at ambient that is "Black Magic Rituals..."
So, would I recommend you get this? Well, it's pretty much up to you. A bored and uninspired ELECTRIC WIZARD is still better then 90% of all over doom bands. And "Dunwich" and "Drugula" are both pretty sweet. Not terrible, and it IS a lesson on awesome Doom Metal production, but you're not missing out on much if you don't get this.
(Online March 7, 2008)