Wizard Death – I Am The Night
Wizard Death is a father/son duo that transcends generations and genres. Influenced by everything from NWOBHM to more Modern Heavy and Thrash Metal, just to start. Throw in some Power Metal, add a few guest musicians, and you end up with a wild concoction that is sure to grab some part of your metal-loving brain. With only three songs on the EP, it is easy to put this on a loop and let it dig into your ears. The voices range from distorted to harsh, occasionally jumping up to a scream, the rhythms chug along, and the guitars weave over, around, and through everything whether on the heavy riffing or the wild leads and solos. You won’t be able to sit still while listening to this one.
- Alexander Kenefic – Vocals/Composer/Lyricist
- Tim Kenefic – Guitars/Bass/Composer
- Kyle Smith – Drums
- Kayla Dixon – Vocals on “I Am the Night”
- Rob Wrong – Lead Guitar on “Slay The Serpents”
- “Wizard Death” interlude by Mortlach
January 26, 2024 – Wise Blood Records
- I Am The Night
- Under The Southern Cross
- Slay The Serpent
Since there are only three songs on this EP, it is easy to dig into it pretty thoroughly. The running time is a little under 12 minutes, so you can blaze through it over and over, digesting the various parts or taking it as a whole. You can get through it five times in an hour, taking the time to focus on different aspects each repetition. Focus on the vocals once, then check out the riffing and leads on the guitar, study the drumming, or just enjoy the overall sound. You have time to really dedicate to this disc.
“I Am The Night” has a catchy riff with the wildest vocals on the record. Kayla Dixon brings a higher register with the ability to flip between clean and distorted with no warning. Drummer Kyle is a chaotic mix of galloping rhythms and melodic fills as he works his way through the track. The guitars layer in well, with some good melodic leads and fills over the riff. When I saw the title, I almost hoped it was an early Pantera cover (before they went Groove Metal), but that was not to be. It is still a cool song. The vocals add a lot to the sound. Kayla crushes this performance.
The next two tracks use Alex on vocals and he brings grit and harshness to the voice most of the time. He can go clean and stretch into a higher register when he wants to. “Under The Southern Cross” stays harsher while “Slay The Serpent” leans on the cleans. Both have excellent guitar works and solid rhythms. The slower intro to “Under The Southern Cross” is well done and I appreciate how it returns later in the song with more volume and pace to it. The compositions are solid and will get stuck in your head. “Slay the Serpent” goes a bit Sludge Metal at the start, builds up, then drops again for the chorus.
This is a 12-minute joy ride. Wizard Death is one of those bands that I hope to hear grow and mature over the next few years. Their use of layering for the vocals and the instruments gives this a bigger sound than you might expect from just two people with a few guests, so that helps build the whole record up. The recording and engineering are a little rough around the edges, but that does not really detract from the overall experience of the EP.
- Guitars – 8
- Rhythms – 8
- Vocals – 8
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 7
Overall – 8.00