Electric Wizard performing at Hole in the Sky in 2007
|Genres||Doom metal, sludge metal, stoner metal|
|Labels||Rise Above (1994-2013), Witchfinder Records|
|Associated acts||Ramesses, Sourvein, 13, Iron Monkey, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Crippled Black Phoenix|
|Past members||Mark Greening
Electric Wizard are a doom metal band from Dorset, England. The band formed in 1993 and have recorded seven full length albums, two of which are now considered to be genre landmarks: Come My Fanatics... and Dopethrone. Electric Wizard's brand of doom metal incorporates stoner and sludge traits, with lyrics focusing on the occult, witchcraft, H.P. Lovecraft, horror films and cannabis.
The origins of Electric Wizard go back to 1988 and Jus Oborn's band Lord of Putrefaction. They put out three demo tapes from 1989–1991 and also did one split with Mortal Remains. In 1992, the name was changed to Thy Grief Eternal after Adam Richardson left the band. They put out one demo under this name titled On Blackened Wings. In 1993, James Evans left the band and they once again changed their name, shortening it to Eternal. The band released two demos under this name. After Gavin Gillingham left the band, Jus Oborn started Electric Wizard. The recordings from this era were issued on the Pre-Electric Wizard 1989–1994 compilation in 2006.
Electric Wizard began in Wimborne in Dorset, England during 1993, and was composed of guitarist Jus Oborn, bassist Tim Bagshaw, and drummer Mark Greening. The band's name was taken from two Black Sabbath songs: "Electric Funeral" and "The Wizard". Oborn remarked, "Is the name Electric Wizard made out of two Black Sabbath song titles? (smokes a big bud of weed through a can) Hahahaha, yeah it is!"
In 1995 the band signed to Rise Above Records and released their self-titled debut album. The music was in the vein of traditional doom metal, and received positive reviews. Later that year, they released the song "Demon Lung" as a split-single with Our Haunted Kingdom (later to become Orange Goblin).
In 1997 the band recorded and released Come My Fanatics..., which introduced the stoner and sludge elements that have come to define Electric Wizard's sound. Later that year, Man's Ruin Records released the Chrono.Naut EP.
During the three years following the release of Come My Fanatics..., the members of Electric Wizard encountered a series of setbacks. There were legal issues which included Oborn's arrest for possession of cannabis, Greening's arrest for assaulting a police officer, and Bagshaw's serving of his sentence for robbery. Health problems also plagued the band, with Oborn suffering a collapsed eardrum during a concert and later severing a fingertip in a domestic accident. Greening also broke his collarbone in a motorcycle accident. Despite these setbacks, Electric Wizard released the Supercoven EP on Bad Acid Records in 1998 and then recorded and released Dopethrone in 2000, which was described by Allmusic as a "dirge masterpiece" and is regarded as the band's magnum opus.
Their next album, Let Us Prey, was released in 2002. It was Electric Wizard's most experimental record to date. Following the release, the band embarked on a North American tour that raised tensions between band members. It was announced that the band was breaking up after the last concert of the tour. However, Electric Wizard did a UK tour with Cathedral soon after, with Justin Greaves (of Iron Monkey) standing in for Greening. In April 2003, Greening and Bagshaw left the band to form Ramesses.
In August 2003, Oborn revealed Electric Wizard's new line-up – drummer Greaves, second-guitarist Liz Buckingham (of 13 and Sourvein), and bassist Rob Al-Issa. This new lineup recorded We Live in 2004. As Oborn explained, the addition of Buckingham was crucial given the departure of his previous "writing partner," Bagshaw:
(The addition of) Liz was the most important element...because Tim had left the band and we were writing partners so to speak. So when Liz came aboard we were writing partners again. Our styles were very similar. We have the same sort of down-stroke pattern. And since we were writing together, Electric Wizard was happening again. I have to have a writing partner.
The band toured England and Australia in support of the album and played at the 2005 Roadburn Festival. Greaves left the band in 2006 and was replaced by Shaun Rutter. The parting was not amicable, with Oborn remarking that "We fell out big time with that loser. You know, I would piss on his grave."
In November 2007, Electric Wizard released Witchcult Today. It was recorded entirely using vintage audio equipment from the 1970s. Witchcult Today was the band's most well-received album since 2000's Dopethrone. In 2008, bassist Rob Al-Issa left the band and was replaced by Tas Danazoglou. Three years later, in November 2010, Electric Wizard released their latest album: Black Masses. In support of the new album; the band played a small tour starting at Halloween with Moss as the supporting band.
On 31 March 2012, Electric Wizard played in London at the HMV Forum, debuting its newest members, bassist Glenn Charman and drummer Simon Poole. A 7" EP titled Legalise Drugs and Murder was available for sale at the show. After the gig it was announced that it would be released worldwide and that more EPs would follow. On 1 October 2012, some copies of Terrorizer came with a cassette EP of Legalise Drugs and Murder which contained the two songs from the 7" along with two outtakes and two new songs. Electric Wizard also headlined the 2012 edition of Maryland Deathfest on May 27, their first show in the United States in ten years.
In 2013, Jus Oborn stated in an interview with the Vela Negra that a new LP was recorded, but cannot be released due to complications with Rise Above "We have a new LP but it cannot be released. Rise Above Records have a lawyer to stop us releasing records or even using our name. Of course we are fighting...but with the law it is all money, money, money.... Maybe our fans will convince them to treat us with respect.". They had been signed to Rise Above Records for 19 years, longer than any other band on the label. The same year they headlined and curated the 2013 edition of the Roadburn Festival.
Electric Wizard have announced a new album to be released in 2014 on their own label Witchfinder Records via Spinefarm Records. It was recorded at Toerag Studios and Skyhammer Studios and mixed by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer. The album was produced by guitarist Jus Oborn.
On 11 June 2014, Mark Greening left the band. Simon Poole has since rejoined.
- Current members
- Jus Oborn – lead vocals, guitars (1993–present)
- Liz Buckingham – guitars (2003–present)
- Clayton Burgess – bass (2014–present)
- Simon Poole – drums, percussion (2012, 2014-present)
- Former members
- Mark Greening – drums, percussion (1993–2003, 2012–2014)
- Tim Bagshaw – bass (1993–2003)
- Rob Al-Issa – bass (2003–2008)
- Justin Greaves – drums, percussion (2003–2006)
- Shaun Rutter – drums, percussion (2006–2012)
- Tas Danazoglou – bass (2008–2012)
- Glenn Charman – bass (2012–2014)
- Electric Wizard (1995)
- Come My Fanatics... (1997)
- Dopethrone (2000)
- Let Us Prey (2002)
- We Live (2004)
- Witchcult Today (2007)
- Black Masses (2010)
- Time to Die (2014)
- Electric Wizard biography
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Come My Fanatics... Review". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-03. "Essential doom"
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Dopethrone Review". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-03. "with Dopethrone, Electric Wizard has raised the bar for doom metal achievement in the new millennium"
- "Interview: Electric Wizard - Smoking cans - Called the number of the beast and left a voicemail". Metalrage.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Lolipop: Electric Wizard
- Electric Wizard biography at Allmusic
- Electric Wizard
- MetalReactor: Electric Wizard Biography
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Electric Wizard: Dopethrone". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Electric Wizard: Let Us Prey". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Bugbee, Tim. "Electric Wizard: Interview". Prefix. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- Prefix Magazine interview
- Electric Wizard biography at Rise Above Records
- "Subterranea: Exclusive Ramesses Interview | News". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
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