Artist: Bog Wizard
Album: Miasmic Purple Smoke
Label: The Dregs Records
Release Date: 03/12/2021
Things are different this time around though, there’s an ominous tone to the music and a darkness that wasn’t there before. Things feel more dire and more serious and this tension has been woven into the music itself on the majority of the album. It’s almost as if the young, optimistic heroes have been on their quest for some time and have begun to be worn down by all of the darkness that they have witnessed on their journey. They are now deep into the dark realms of their world and surrounded by enemies and threats that must be faced.
The opening track Barbaria will immediately make this apparent to anyone who has listened to either of the band’s previous two releases. This is easily my favourite track on the album and actually happens to be one of my favourite doom/sludge tracks of the year. The pounding drums, astoundingly heavy bass and downtuned fuzzy guitar work pairs perfectly with the almost barked harsh vocals on the track. Thrown into this are the echoed, faded clean vocals that appear every so often, giving the track an almost mystical feeling.
It isn’t just the essence of the music that has changed, but the music itself too. Things are heavier this time around, more downtuned and performed at a slower, more creeping pace. The bass has also been turned up even higher in the mix and really helps hammer down the listener in unison with the crushing weight of the guitars.
There are of course some outliers on the album such as the title track Miasmic Purple Smoke which takes things in an entirely different direction. The song almost has a 70s doom/stoner rock feel to it and features lighter airier cean vocals. The band also throw some more modern downtuned heaviness into the mix just to keep the listener on their toes.
Just when you think you’re starting to figure the album out the band hit you with Stuck in The Muck, 1 minute and 19 seconds of high energy punk fueled doom metal. There’s in insanely catchy riff that runs throughout this track and is paired with high energy punk style drum work. As quickly as it came the track ends and leaves you wanting a lot more of whatever that was.
On the final album track The Void Beckons, things return to a harsher heavier note, however the band work in plenty of spacy ethereal elements that don’t feature on the rest of the album. Coming in at over 12 minutes, this is easily the longest track on the album and a perfect way to wrap things up. The band’s Sabbathian influences come through a little more on this track, but they remain a little more subtle than some of their contemporaries.
So, dive into this crushingly heavy epic and witness what can only be described as the band’s finest work to date. If this is the path that the band have set upon then I personally cannot wait to see what comes next.
Listen to and order the album: