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Old Man Wizard - Kill Your Servants Quietly Award winner

Old Man Wizard
Kill Your Servants Quietly
by Andrew Harvey at 21 October 2021, 7:21 AM

From the Southern parts of California, USA, this trio of progressive/heavy rock musicians known as OLD MAN WIZARD. The band consists of FRANCIS ROBERTS on lead vocals, guitar, synth & sampler, ANDRE BELLER on backing vocals, bass guitar & violin and completing the line up, KRIS CALABIO on backing vocals, drums & percussion. The band as it happens could be going their separate ways once their third and final album is released on the 5th of November in all formats.

In their previous years, they have released two other albums which were both well received and very impressive too, their debut album titled UNFAVOURABLE in 2013. After that their second album titled BLAME IT ON ALL ON SORCERY released in 2018 and now their third album which is to be their last is titled KILL YOUR SERVANTS QUIETLY. Their new album basically “escorts you on a fantasy-fuelled journey with a mixture of high energy tracks and emotional performances”.

The intro to this album is “I Prayed” which is 6 minutes long, opening with church bells ringing and bolts of thunder before the rain pours down. A slow melodic guitar line accompanied by vocals going high and drums surging to the limits of what we can hear. The eccentric guitar solos are very wicked, staying in the background.

“Kill Your Servants” has that psychedelic rock sound with all instruments at first, vocals joining in eventually. Vocals sound fiery, cunning and do have the touch of the progressive side at times. The vocal harmonies, powerful drums and riveting guitar lines are clinical. “God Is Your Friend” slows down the tempo allowing dynamics and rhythm to burst out from the wilderness.
The guitar rhythm varies in the second half and the active rock flow continues with vocals accents in higher pitch. “I Wanna Know” runs off the mark with a more punk style, guitar which is rebellious and hardcore. Driving with continuous vocal harmony and faster but chunkier drums, packing a punch. “Your Life” is the fifth track slowing down again and pulls everything back into the mix.

Acoustic guitar strums forth like a lullaby with vocals carrying the melody. There is joy and glorious sunshine beaming from this track. The contrast and clarity of guitar is clear with a theme of a love poem but with a more gloomy approach. “Today” there is more bass than guitar sets the tone here. Off beat rhythm with drums is clever with wicked guitar hooks which sounds amazing.

A more alternative and indie rock feel is dominant throughout. The short but noticeable diminuendo before the next track which is “Soldier’s Winter”. This seventh track is a more psychedelic approach returning back to the second track. Also has swirling, glam rock guitar riffs with stamping drums full of attitude. This pauses slightly but goes back to basics ending on a high with clear dynamics.

“Parasite” has that same attitude with the lyrical content, the words so direct and descriptive. This track obtains that psychedelic and perhaps progressive charm we can hear more. It's simple in structure and predictable, sending out an obvious message of reference to a person being seen as a ‘parasite’. “Falling Star” slowly picks up the pace and has that alternative, hippy rock feel.

The penultimate track is as long as the intro track, drums provide a sort of experimental maybe improvisation section. Guitar and bass guitar emphasize the elements of drums, when the time is right, an instrumental section is quick in succession but more complex than before. “Live Forever” being the finale and giving closure to a very good collection of songs. Vocals and synthesizer the sole attention of it all, this becomes more angelic and harmonious. This builds up only to quieten down for vocals and hints of guitar to bring the curtain down. Very soothing, variation of themes in each track, especially with the lyrics and the instruments come together to capture the true nature of this band. Sadly no more but a stupendous album, wow indeed!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. I Prayed
2. Kill Your Servants
3. God Is Your Friend
4. I Wanna Know
5. Your Life
6. Today
7. Soldier’s Winter
8. Parasite
9. Falling Star
10. Live Forever
Lineup:
Francis Robets - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synth and Sampler
Andre Beller - Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar and Violin
Kris Calabio - Backing Vocals, Drums and Percussion
Record Label: Independent
     


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