If ye haven't heard, we slumbering scribes are putting out a compilation album on Oct. 2nd! Bog Wizard provide the closing track--hence the republication of this review.
Sleeping Village Caravan Of Doom (Vol. 1) is an exhibition of like-minded tracks that balance sludgy heft with an earthy stoner atmosphere. These are songs that would feel at home in the midst of a bog or mire, and we’ve brought them together, drenched in murk and algae, for your gloomy enjoyment. Pre-order here for the measly price of $1! That, dear reader, is a bargain.
Written by: Shane Thirteen
When I was in school in the mid to late 80's, Dungeons and Dragons was the Friday night pizza-fueled, soda pop-buzzin, eye-buggin fantasy fodder for me and all my friends. Friday night we would meet at Rex's house to play 'till late into the night.
When I saw the name Bog Wizard I was instantly traversed back to the campaigns of war and adventure of my youth. Now my band of merry warriors has a soundtrack: Bog Wizard! This power doom sludge trio from Michigan is thickness incarnate, so much so that the tracks laid down in From The Mire, in my opinion, should spark its own sub category in the stoner/doom/ sludge scene. This new sub-genre could be called, say: Northern Tundra Thickness Doom.
But to sub-categorize From The Mire is selling it short. There is a ton going on here--I love the layering of sound effect samples. Little bits of drama-spiced ear candy that leads the listener right down the cave, set on by the party of adventurers. It's a near cinematic audio experience.
If I were to close my eyes and wander through the images these songs conjure up, I would first start with the band itself and what roles each character must play. First I must address the thickness of the guitar tracks. Judging by tone alone, Ben Lombard (guitar/vox) must be a hulking beast of a Warrior class barbarian. The guitar work on this album can be at times soft and silky. Almost hypnotizing. Like staring into a campfire thinking of the adventure of the day. But, by and large, the guitar work done by Ben is a pounding war hammer to the ear. Thick fuzzy and sticky. Vocals on this recording are also handled by Ben. I can sense he is channeling his inner Dungeon Master.
Harlen Linke (percussion, synth, vox), and Colby Lowman (bass) hold down the other end of affairs. Lowman's bass work on this record is refreshing. He has woven groove under the guitar that blends in a way to bring the listener deep to the heart of the dragon. He must be the slinking Cleric of the group. All the while, Harlen Linke's drumming sets the pace for the adventure. At times he embodies the ancient war drum. On other parts of the record, he hearkens back to an age of almost psychedelic 60's style drumming. But then on the track "The Orange Goblin," you can see the punk rock showing. He must be the sharp dressed Paladin of the group. Multifaceted skills of crafted magic mixed with warrior's blood. There is an art to sludgy drums and switching to a dynamic style, and he has nailed it.
These guys have put thought into this record and you can tell. Of particular note are the layered vocals on From the Mire that add real depth to the sound. I really have to tip my helm to those brave enough to bare their soul vocally and blend it with such thick and angry grooves. I bet this band will be pretty intense live. I can imagine walls of sounds the size of castle ramparts.
If you need a fantasy sonic adventure, close your eyes. Lay back. Put on your headphones. Chant the phrase Bog Wizard three times. Take a bong hit. The Bog Wizard will appear through the smoke and whisk you away to faraway lands and high adventure.
Bog Wizard - From The Mire will be independently released on July 3rd.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!