Rebel Wizard – Invocation of the Miserable Ones


575139 Records DK

Review by Rick Ossian

amazon_badgeitunes_logo03-300x112This may well be the last piece of music that I review from 2015, and I hate to end on a sour note, but this is most likely the worst lot I’ve heard all year.  Yet, somehow, on a rarely crude level, I can still see the appeal.  For the most part, Invocation… seems all blistering riffs and screaming vocals.  Unfortunately, the vocals are, for the most part, utterly incomprehensible.  Regular readers will know that this really disturbs me.  I would imagine a quick trip to probably wouldn’t cut the mustard in this particular case, either.  To be fair, I’m going to listen again as I compose, because as I said there was a distinct appeal to the guitar work at certain points.  The riffs alone are worth the ride, as they say!

Billed as blackened metal from Melbourne, Rebel Wizard are the brainchild solo project of Australian artist Nekrasov.  The bio likens them to Aura Noir, Usurper, Bulletbelt, Skeleton Witch, Cauldron and Enforcer.  He/they have already released several EP‘s and a full-length.  Nekrasov describes it as Negative Wizard Metal or having come from The New Wave of Negative Metal.  Their tunes come to us by way of Dewar PR, and can be had for a song at Bandcamp (Name Your Price).

Too Late assaults us straight out of the gate with blistering riffing.  All too late, I’m afraid, as it is a short (2:08) but sweet number.  This could even be called Riff City incarnate.  A bit repetitive, but still good.  Sort of lets you know what you’re in for.  So, it’s basically an exercise in pure cacophony on guitar!

Track Number Two wins 5 cool points for its title alone; A Place to Rest the Dead Inside is Never to be Found. Wow!  It’s basically another 3 minutes of guitar histrionics with a guy screaming bloody murder.  I feel very sorry for Mr. Nekrasov’s vocal chords after listening to this one.  It may be my computer speakers are getting old, but the screaming is also a bit buried in the mix.  This may contribute to the indecipherable nature of the lyrics/vocals.

On the Unknown Self They Ride comes in at number 3, and is more of a regular ‘tune’, if you will.  Lyrics for the most part are still incomprehensible, but there is excellent guitar work throughout.  It clocks in at just over four minutes.

The closer, our beloved title track, is a veritable behemoth compared to the rest of the tracks, coming in at just under 8 minutes.  It starts out with very grand, majestic riffing, and shortly descends into the muddled mix and vocal acrobatics.  I can scream and shout with the best of them, but I’ve got nothing on Nekrasov.  He sounds like he’s shredding every vocal element of his very self, let along the vocal chords.  Bravo for pure effort.  Very guttural stuff indeed.  Heavy drums make their mark at about the 2:40 point, and there is a positively incendiary guitar solo at 3:15 (and again at 630).  At four minutes in we get a very strange break of sorts, featuring weird voices and FX.  The tune is saved at 5:25 when the guitar comes back in with a vengeance, along with some pounding drums.

We should probably wrap things up, and since I’m in a charitable mood, I’m going to go about half-way up the scale for sheer guitar prowess alone.  If you’re looking for something else, fair enough!  This one is worth listening to at least once for the riffs!

Rating: 5/10

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