WIZARD'S BEARD - Four Tired Undertakers

Wizard's Beard - Four Tired Undertakers

7 songs
53:46 minutes
***** ***


Not even one year after their debut Pure Filth on PsycheDOOMelic Records, British quartet Wizard’s Beard is already back with its successor Four Tired Undertakers, this time on the French label Altsphere. Even though there can’t have been much time for songwriting, the new album sounds anything but tired. The guys play the meanest kind of doomy sludge metal imaginable. Their influences are, among others, Eyehategod, Crowbar and Iron Monkey, but don’t let that give you more than just a cursory idea of what they are practicing. Their songs run never below six minutes, Harbinger even makes it over eleven minutes. The rhythm is nice and slow, building a framework on which the guitars add devastating riffs, with the singer evilly screaming his vocals in a nearly hardcore fashion, no surprise maybe considering him sporting a mohawk.

Since the days of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, the doom metal genre has sprouted into many different directions. Some bands still profess the primeval, gloomy kind, while others tend closer to death metal or, in the case of funeral doom bands, to gothic metal. Wizard’s Beard are different in that regard that their songs may use the slow, crunchy beats of doom metal, but garnish it with monstrously distorted guitars that remind occasionally of Hellhammer, while the screamed vocals provide a certain sense of psychotic hysteria.

All of this makes Four Tired Undertakers probably not an album for the masses, but their crude mix of doom and sludge ultimately works absolutely in their favour, making this an album for the connoisseur of doom metal of the more unconventional sort. Fans of the aforementioned bands might want to check out Wizard’s Beard, although the Brits are sounding definitely fiercer than most American sludge bands. And that is certainly not a mistake!

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