Band: Rebel Wizard
Album: Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response
Label: Prosthetic Records
Genre: Black Metal/Fuzz/NWOBHM/Noise
Release Date: 17 August 2018
Rebel Wizard is a one man deal out of Australia that goes by the name B. Nekrasov and as near as I can tell, he handles all the duties here. I have to say, he’s one talented dude, putting together a furious, flying, wild ride of a record. I’m not sure if he’s not completely insane, to be honest. In any case, his passion is very much the highlight here, as track after track careens, almost totally out of control, tempered only by the occasional sample and atmospheric moment. The guitars are manic, all over the place, and yet completely cohesive. They fit well together. On first listen, unless you’re into Noise, you’re going to be put off. This album will take repeated listens before it sinks into your brain. Lots of hooks, some buried, some right in your face, keep things delightful even amidst the madness. One thing that can definitely be said about Rebel Wizard: they are their own thing, and that can’t be said about the majority of music acts out there.
Some songs I dug:
Title track “Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response” has some of the most melodic moments on the record. The song feels like you’re floating out at sea, cradled by chiming and harmonic guitar parts. This one drifts a bit before raging in, the vocals back in the mix, like they are on the entire affair, and yet strangely powerful because of this. The vocals are definitely of the Black Metal variety, with an added sheen of Industrial (?) polish that makes them that much more aggro and abrasive. This track is as fine an example of what you’re going to get on the rest of the record.
“Drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen” gets a nod for the title alone, although that sweet guitar work at the beginning is gorgeous. You could hear this on an early Metallica album or an early Hair Metal record and it would fit perfectly. The songs kicks in pretty proper and we get some killer riffing and playing, definitely of the NWOBHM variety. Then those vocals start their grind and you’re right in the midst of that weird mix that belongs solely to Rebel Wizard. Excellent riffs, though, making this one a virtual guitar clinic.
“Exhaustive Glory” is the closing track and it cruises along on two minutes of weird atmosphere, the guitar sounding like it was recorded in another room with the mics placed in an open doorway on the floor above. The whole shebang kicks in at that two minute mark and we get a really nice marching grind that builds upon itself, slowly rising in speed and power. The pacing on this one is terrific. This points to something I don’t think Rebel Wizard will get enough credit for, given the claustrophobic nature of most of the record: Nekrasov really lets things breathe. I don’t know how, exactly, he pulls this off, given the clutter and clank of everything, but despite things feeling relentless and out of control, no song is rushed. This was an excellent way to finish out a record.
I’m going to go ahead and give this one an 8, even though it’s something I probably won’t listen to very much. I think it’s jagged and a little hard to stomach at times, given the dichotomy of the sounds on display, but in its own way, it’s pretty genius.
1. Persisting as it does
2. The prophecy came and it was soaked with the common fools forboding
3. High mastery of the woeful arts
4. Drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen
5. The poor and ridiculous alchemy of Christ and Lucifer and us all
6. Mother Nature, oh my sweet mistress, showed me the other worlds and
it was just fallacy
7. Majestic mystical burdens
8. Healing the chakras with heavy negative wizard metal
9. Voluptuous worship of rapture and response
Total Playing Time: 44:10