I last heard Rebel Wizard’s work on his 2015 EP Invocation of the Miserable Ones, which stuck out with its well-written mix of black, thrash, and heavy metal.
This latest EP is equally well-written, and displays the same mix of styles. The music’s NWOBHM love is covered in blackened tar and mixed in with some thrashing aggression.
The songs are largely short, although the final song, and title track, is an 8-minute exception to this. Track two, the lengthily titled There Is a Game of Madness, and It Was Decided That You Must Keep on Playing, is a good example of the Rebel Wizard style; the first half is savagely brutal blackened blasting with face-ripping screams, while the second half is thrashing heavy metal, with a blistering guitar solo. And it’s only two minutes long.
There’s great variety here though, with the very next track offering a slower and much more atmospheric piece of music, complete with mournful melodies. I particularly like the static-like screams in this one too. The final track, which shares the same title as the EP, also boasts a storming Iron Maiden vibe to parts of it, most notably some of the melodies. A blackened Iron Maiden, of course.
Compared to Invocation of the Miserable Ones there’s been a noticeable increase in the spiky black metal component of the band’s sound, although you can still hear the thrash and heavy metal influences coming through clearly.
Starkly raw, yet effortlessly appealing. The artist behind this band manages to channel something atavistic and rare in his music. Rebel Wizard recalls a lot of old-school influences and feelings that you largely just don’t hear these days. There’s something special about Rebel Wizard, and Great Addictions to Blindingly Dark, Worldly Life is an enjoyable and somewhat fascinating listen because of it.
With only 16 minutes of content this EP leaves you hungry for more, despite being quite satisfying in its own right.