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Wizards of Hazards - End Of Time Award winner

Wizards of Hazards
End Of Time
by Barbie Rose at 26 January 2021, 8:14 AM

Finnish Doom Metal Band, WIZARDS OF HAZARD, published their first full release entitled “END OF TIME” on November 27 2020; this follows their maiden April 16 2020 release of EP “BLIND LEADS THE BLIND” - seemingly pre-released to market the subsequent November release of the “END OF TIME”.  Early records indicate prodromal evidence of the band’s existence during September of 2016 - but formation may have occurred slightly earlier.

“Masters Of Dread” - the first album track begins with the band playing half-notes - followed by rests. The tempo is purportedly slow and grave. I am already excited. Rests are underused in heavy metal. These half notes may be “knocks upon a heavy door”, or, may be pounding upon the same; either way we hear the announcement of a dreadful presence that cannot be averted. “I’ll make all your fears disappear / as I ride by your side my children / when this journey is through / I’ll like to see you all as kings / off the flight in your minds / the “Masters Of Dread”.

“Ivory Towers” - the second album track begins with a slow yet steady rhythmic pulse augmented with accents on the bass drum. Clean Guitars ornamented with electronic chorus effect accompany the bass. As the song proceeds to standard verses - the bass is mixed with equal presence or volume as the guitar. “Children Of The Damned” - the third album track begins with differentiation between the bass line & guitar line. Symmetry between these instruments is a technique nicely utilized by the recording engineers for the thickening presence of heaviness.

“Witching Sabbath” - the fourth album track opens with Ville Willman’s vocal phrases accompanied only by Amir Nalbandian bass. Aarne Ylipiha’s guitar solo leads couldn’t be less pretentious or more appropriate to the tenor of the song & prescience of the band. “Stoning” - the fifth album track during which the verses utilizes a stronger snare drum presence–accentuated by the rhythm of the bass guitar: while not resembling thrash at all–this style of beat is as close to thrash as the WIZARDS OF HAZARDS might venture. The mix of this album (that between the bass and the guitar) is astoundingly heavy; and it is a rare pleasure to hear new metal without growling vocals. Listeners who prefer old BLACK SABBATH styles will surely enjoy singing along with this.

“Boots Of Lead” - the sixth album track - the hook or motif seems to be played on the second string - and this thus far seems the thickest & chunkiest album track–judging by the slower tempo & guitar distortion. Through the last half minute of the song, Amir Nalbandian adds extremely tasteful melodic ornamentation on the bass–nice.

“Horn Of Plenty” - the seventh album track opens with Petri Pakarinen playing a four beat eighth note flam pattern on the snare. The song seems the heaviest on the release, heaviest at least in tone. The guitar and bass mix seems to resound fully & frequently on the lower guitar strings. At about two minutes thirty seconds into the song, a second guitar track enters and to add a short & melodic guitar solo - a solo apropos for doom/stoner rock: the mix of this second track together with other band instrumentation is a noticeable, yet a favorable embellishment; still, I am uncertain how the recording engineers accomplished this—well done.

”End Of Time” - the title track, the recording finale, the eighth song in sequential order begins with an approximate fifteen second bout of disorder - and I love it. Is this the “End of Time”? Of course such an ordeal as “disorder”, conveyed through a four man band, must have roots in real order. Here Amir Nalbandian and Petri Pakarinen resound at their best, on bass and drums respectively, to roll us through a jagged yet sonorous rhythmic round of syncopation. Aarne Ylipiha adds subtler forms of dissonance by planning formulated suspensions upon sixth chord derivatives–and these ephemeral resolutions again subdivide into subsequent dissonance; remember however that in tonal harmony, the sixth chord is a plateau of deception–listeners cannot help but feel this elevation which finds immediate shelter upon the dominant; the root is only found after the inevitable return.  This musical round is wonderful, and the only auricular notions in need of enhancement are those of the dynamic. The hook for this song is the elongated form of the syncopated rhythmic accent; yet the magical tritone allures us with the aura of the haunting & foreboding unknown.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Masters Of Dread
2. Ivory Towers
3. Children Of The Damned
4. Witching Sabbath
5. Stoning
6. Boots Of Lead
7. Horn Of Plenty
8. End Of Time
Ville Willman - Vocals
Aarne Ylipiha - Guitars
Amir Nalbandian - Bass
Petri Pakarinen - Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 07 March 2021

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