Album Review: Subterranean Exile by The Wizar’d

Australia’s The Wizar’d have been churning out traditional doom metal since 2004, amassing a solid catalog of four full-length albums and several EPs.  Their most recent long player, Subterranean Exile (released April 24th via Cruz Del Sur) is the work of a band comfortable in its own skin.  Unlike the death metal-tinged war beat of label mates Stygian Crown, this four-piece kicked out a platter of old-school doom quite at home next to bands like Witchfinder General.

The most pronounced aspect of The Wizar’d’s songwriting is, undoubtedly, Ol’ Rusty’s vocal style – an eccentric, prophet-in-in the forest delivery.  His singing will most likely make or break the record as a whole for most listeners.  Guitarist and co-vocalist Master of the Night supports the choruses with more traditional backing vocals and his riffing is solid and straightforward.  The rhythm section, sporting the Tolkien-inspired stage names of Blackie the Crimson Heretic of a Thousand Eyes [bass] and Maniac Frodsham [drums] take a back seat and push the songs along with solid, supportive parts.

From front-to-back, Subterranean Exile, is a fairly myopic affair not drifting much to either side of the line drawn by the first track, also titled “Subterranean Exile.”  Pounding drums mixed with flowing guitar harmonies morph into a rocking, 70s inspired riff throwdown.  “Master Of The Night” transitions into the hook-laden “Long Live The Dead” and those two songs are a highlight of this seven-song release.  The closing number, “Dark Fortress,” is seven minutes of atmospheric doom and ends the platter on a high note.

As a whole, Subterranean Exile is deeply rooted in classic doom influence and is an endearing trip for fans of the genre.

Order the album in digital, CD, and vinyl formats here.

For more from Alternative Control, find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSoundcloud, and bandcamp.  Plus, follow our 2020 coverage playlist on Spotify!