Tuesday 15 May 2012

Wizard Rifle - Speak Loud Say Nothing

Wizard Rifle are an awesome duo from Portland, Oregon. They've been around since 2009, playing their own brand of eclectic metal influenced by everything from Lightning Bolt to The Stooges. They also tour hard!

Speak Loud Say Nothing is their debut record, featuring five songs and it's been released by the awesome Seventh Rule Recordings. It also has some of the craziest artwork I've seen in ages, which was designed by Sam Ford, who is one half of this duo.


1. Tears Won't Soften Steel
2. Frazetta
3. Megatherium
4. Nobody
5. Leathery Gentlemen

The album starts with Tears Won't Soften Steel, which begins with some really cool laid-back guitar but then bends into some pretty incredible guitar. Spoken word vocals ring out above the racket before dual vocals break out. This is certainly unique stuff, with plenty of heavy riffs, pounding drums yet really cool melodic vocals. It kind of reminds me of Primus in a roundabout way. The music is pretty fast as well, striding along at a pleasing pace and considering Wizard Rifle are a duo, they make a heap of noise. This is definitely thinking mans music! The time signatures used are what you'd expect to hear from a band like Mastodon, but this has a great party vibe to it too, as well a subtle stoner influence.

Frazetta has a more rock n roll sound to it, with some far-out vocals and riffs that bounce back and forth, like a child with ADHD. The slower section towards the middle shows that the bands heavier side, with some great sludgy riffs and drumming that adds tremendous impact. The music dies down to reveal a sampled interlude, before the emergence of some great clean riffs that make you want to shake your hips!

Megatherium builds slowly with clean picked guitar and soft drums, before being elevated into the song you want it to be! Heavy and rocking, just like its name suggests. There's more of that prog and sludge influence in the opening two minutes as they slow the pace down completely, to a bruising slow burn.

Think of all the best slow, space doom/stoner songs you've ever heard and multiply the feeling you had by 10, as this is one of those song that will leave the hairs standing on the back of your neck. It's the groove that's weaved in by Wizard Rifle that really makes it this song special. The skill of these musicians cannot, nay, will not be contested. This is only the mid point but already you've been subjected to hip shaking metal infused rock and skull-crushing heavy metal. I know I've tried, but it's futile to even try and categorise Wizard Rifle. You will just fry your brain trying.

Nobody comes at you with a wall of heavy riffs and pounding from those cymbals in the background. One thing I've noticed as this record's gone on, is that the level of heaviness and experimentalism has shot through the roof. It's testament to this duo that they haven't been consumed by their urge to experiment, and have created a record of incredible twists and turns while keeping it all really focused. Some other bands like this just sound messy, but Wizard Rifle doesn’t and knows exactly what they're doing.

Leathery Gentlemen is the last song and a ten-minute descent into madness. With crazed vocals and off-kilter guitar/rhythms, which work to enrich all of your senses. The vocal harmonies work well to juxtapose the thrashing drums and guitar throughout this song.

Like most of the music I've reviewed recently, this is the first music I've heard by Wizard Rifle, and I'll be honest and say I wasn't expecting anything like this. It's just refreshing to hear something so original and I'd go as far to say both Wizard Rifle and Speak Loud Say Nothing are vital! Hats off must also go to Seventh Rule for bringing these guys to my attention and I sincerely hope that they start to get the recognition they rightly deserve, as this is immense.

Luckily for you, this record is available for streaming on Wizard Rifle's Bandcamp page below:-

If you like it, which you should, you can buy a digital copy direct from their Bandcamp page or you can buy a digipack version from Seventh Rule at http://store.seventhrule.com/.

You can also visit Wizard Rifle on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wizard-Rifle.

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