Artist: Wicked Inquisition
Album: Wicked Inquisition
Label: Tridroid Records
Wicked Inquisition. When I heard the name, my expectations for the band skyrocketed. It just fit the kind of music they supposedly played: no-nonsense doom metal; the stuff you’d expect to hear opening for Pentagram. Although their name alone certainly has promine, the members of this four-piece from Minnesota haven’t made a name for themselves yet. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – more often than not, a band’s best material is from their early releases. They knocked it out of the park with what they call themselves, but the question as to how good their music is still remains. I’m happy to say that Wicked Inquisition produced some rock-solid throwback doom that never strays too far from bands that laid out the foundation of the genre such as Black Sabbath and Trouble.
The record, consisting of eight songs, clocks in at a modest 40 minutes. Despite this, there isn’t a lack of variation. The first two songs,“Black Magik Nacht” and “Crimson Odyssey” are mostly slow tracks that engulfed me in their thick guitar lines and trudging paces. After these first couple of tracks, the record takes off with the more energetic “Sun Flight”, which features faster tempos and a brief (but very enjoyable) Iommi-esc. solo. The hypnotizing bassline and distant vocals in track number four, “M.A.D.”, make it one of my personal favorites. Its eeriness contrasts well with the next, more energetic song entitled “In Shackles”. “Death of Man” and “Tomorrow Always Knows” are the two longest songs, both lasting over six minutes. Last but not least is the title track, closing out the album with a flurry of double bass kick patterns and lively riffing – a fitting closure to a well-rounded record.
Maintaining the vintage feel of the album is the cover art, which depicts several women bathing in a river under the moon (and the band’s logo). It makes a good companion to the music in that art itself looks pre-photoshop, which, along with the color scheme used, helps give it the necessary amount of trippy charm.
As much as I like to praise this album, it doesn’t quite reach perfection. The vocals, while not bad, aren’t the most lively and could use a little more enthusiasm. Still, they get the job done, and they never prevent me from enjoying what the rest of the band is doing. Wicked Inquisition have proven themselves to be competent songwriters and all around musicians with their self-titled LP. I strongly recommend this album to anyone looking for a good throwback to doom bands of yesteryear.