Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth reissues provide valuable, dark history lessons

Electric Wizard

One of those weeks, everyone. Sorry for the inactivity thus far, and today’s entry won’t exactly be George RR Martin-esque in length, but we’ll be back on track fully tomorrow. We have an interview coming up from a band that’s releasing one of the week’s more notable, talked-about releases, a look at one of the more peculiar metal releases this year, and plenty more fun stuff. So yeah, we’ll get these spaces filled.

There are a ton of new things on store shelves today, it being one of the more flooded weeks for metal releases, but there are two things available to you that are reissues worth your re-visitation. Or if you’re new to it, checking them out will prove valuable to you, I promise. In fact, one of them should serve as a nice preview piece for one of this coming weekend’s more notable live appearances, and we’ll start with that one.

UK doom unit Electric Wizard are one of the close-out acts at this weekend’s Maryland Deathfest, an event that has quickly become our domestic showcase for everything extreme. The band doesn’t tour the States a whole hell of a lot, and I’m pretty sure landing them here in Pittsburgh will take a quasi-miracle, which only makes events such as their show Sunday evening that much more special. Arriving just days before main eventing the outside stage 1 performances is a CD and vinyl reissue of their classic, incredible 2007 effort “Witchcult Today,” one of my favorite records in their collection. In fact, while most people cite 2000’s “Dopethrone” as this group’s high-water mark, I’ll always lean more heavily toward “Witchcult.”

The vinyl itself is so pretty and majestic. I don’t have a copy myself yet, but that’s going to be remedied soon. The vinyl is silver, looking nothing like your standard vinyl reissues these days, and the gorgeous double-gatefold is adorned with racy, well, cult-like imagery that won’t make the parents of any 16-year-old consumers all that happy. Hide it under the bed, kids. “Dunwich” is one of my favorite Electric Wizard songs of all time (the opening drum beat is awesome, and it just unloads into the main melody), and there are plenty of other killers such as the title cut, “The Satanic Rites of Dragula,” “Black Magic Rituals and Perversions,” and walloping closer “Saturnine.” This is a landmark effort every doom fan should have, and you hardly can do better than scoring this reissue. Also out is a vinyl reissue (purple!) of their 2010 album “Black Masses,” a record I liked but didn’t love. I have a few friends who vehemently disagree with me about this record, so it’s probably just my tastes, but if you’re psyched about it, you’ll probably be pretty eager to land the vinyl.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.facebook.com/electricwizarddorsetdoom

To buy “Witchcult Today,” go here: http://www.indiemerchstore.com/item/14536/

To buy “Black Masses,” go here: http://www.indiemerchstore.com/item/14534/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.metalblade.com/english/content.php

Now, for something completely different. I remember getting the promo of Winterfylleth’s “The Ghost of Heritage” in the mail from Profound Lore in 2008, and the band’s folk-infused black metal hit me really hard. There was a passion and an energy behind it, but also sadness and beauty, seemingly satisfying every need I had when encountering this record. From that point, this English band became one of my favorites, and I have spent a lot of time with this album ever since it landed in my lap on that fateful day. The band eventually signed with Candlelight, and they issued their awesome sophomore record “The Mercian Sphere” in 2010.

For those of you who perhaps didn’t get your hands on their debut when it originally dropped, you have a second chance today when Candlelight reissues that document. The album is remastered by Colin Marston and contains brand-new artwork that sets it apart from its original form. Also included are two bonus tracks. The band draws on its nation’s history and heritage in their music, and while they’ve gotten the dreaded “nationalism” tag from people too blockheaded to see the forest for the trees, their music is instead a tribute and reminder of how their people and land came to be. Plus, pretty sure if an American band turned in a document like this about this country’s history, no one would be chirping about it. We didn’t exactly crucify Iced Earth, did we? And that album was shitty. Anyway, “The Ghost of Heritage” is a great album, very spacious, and it’ll make you dive back into your history books. I’ll be tossing some money down for this new version myself.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winterfylleth/232057463509264

To buy the album, go here: http://www.candlelightrecordsusa.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: http://candlelightrecordsusa.com/site/