A few days ago I wrote about the book Electric Wizards – A Tapestry of Heavy Music by JR Moores. And also I wrote a post about Satyricon’s Now, Diabolical. What would be a better fit than take this whole metal thing a notch higher (up to 11?), and go all out with the heaviest album in existence? I’m talking, of course, about Electric Wizard’s Come My Fanatics….
And if you were to ask (Spinal Tap -style) ‘How much more heavy metal can it get?’ The answer would be (also with the immortal words from Spinal Tap): ‘None more heavy metal’.
Electric Wizard from Dorset in England and Sleep from San Jose, California are arguably two of the most ‘heavy’ bands there are.
They both have released what is universally known as their seminal albums. For Electric Wizard this album is ‘Dopethrone’ from 2000 and for Sleep, it is ‘Dopesmoker’ (1998).
I think we can make a safe assumption that without Black Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ none of these bands would exist. This is doom metal, a genre that excels in downtuned guitars and songs that move with the same pace as a slug on hot tarmac.
But no matter how heavy Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone is, the album before this one, ‘Come My Fanatics…’ is even heavier ( in theory an impossibility, but in reality a fact). This album is so heavy that it couldn’t be more heavy even if you dropped a 30-ton tank filled with Osmium (the heaviest substance on earth) on top of it. And to top it off you build a 50-meter-high concrete wall on top of the tank.
In fact, ‘Come My Fanatics…’ is so heavy that the mere word ‘heavy’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. We would have to invent a new term for it. Perhaps something like super-insane-oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-how-heavy-it-is-mega-heavy-metal?
But is it a good album? Yes, I think so. Better than the infamous ‘Dopethrone’ IMO. And in particular the two opening tracks, the ten-minute long ‘Return Trip’ and the (very) Black Sabbath-ish ‘Wizard in Black’.
But what makes ‘Come My Fanatics…’ so fascinating isn’t the music per se, but rather the pace and the relentless attack of the low voltage tube overdrive guitar sound. Imagine having a seven-inch single at 45 rpm of Sabbath’s ‘Sweet Leaf’ played at 33 rpm and you get the picture. This is slowcore metal. At times so slow that it is a wonder that the songs are progressing at all.
‘Come My Fanatics…’ is an album that I rarely listen to. But this morning it seemed like the right thing to do. It sort of caps off my ‘metal week’ in a perfect way.
Frode Singsass | Now Spinning Magazine